IPL 2021: With Suresh Raina rejoining forces with MS Dhoni, CSK look to bounce back after horror 2020

Chennai Super Kings, one of the crucial well-liked groups within the Indian Premier League, endured their worst-ever season final yr as kind and consistency eluded MS Dhoni’s ageing facet however the 3-time champions will probably be keen to bounce back with vengeance and put the grins back on the faces of their loyal followers in IPL 2021.

CSK failed to attain the playoffs for the primary within the historical past of the event, ending seventh within the league stage simply forward of Rajasthan Royals final season. Their efficiency in 2020 caught even the non-CSK supporters unexpectedly as nothing labored for ‘Thala’ Dhoni and his yellow brigade in IPL 2020.

Something had to give, and difficult choices wanted to be made as CSK’s think-tank did a tough introspection of their squad and the performances of their gamers.

CSK coach Stephen Fleming and captain Dhoni each mentioned that the template wanted to change. CSK for lengthy had been the one staff that hardly ever made any modifications to their squad or enjoying mixture even when issues weren’t going of their method.

Dhoni by no means preferred to tinker with the Indian staff XI and he utilized the identical components when main CSK. He had the document to back up his concept – profitable 3 IPL titles and a pair of Champions League T20 trophies in 13 years.

But their techniques appear to have lastly run out of steam because the ‘Dad’s Army’, which made a heroic comeback from suspension after 2 years by profitable the 2018 version, noticed their veteran stars fail repeatedly in 2020.

THE NEW RECRUITS

CSK Instagram Photos: Collage by India Today

The CSK staff administration had to make just a few modifications this yr which they did, by bringing in 6 new gamers to their squad within the IPL 2021 public sale.

They received the bids for Krishnappa Gowtham (Rs 9.25 crore), Moeen Ali (Rs 7 crore), Cheteshwar Pujara (Rs 50 lakh), Harishankar Reddy (Rs 20 lakh), Bhagath Varma (Rs 20 lakh) and Hari Nishanth (Rs 20 lakh) within the public sale.

Moeen has come as a substitute for Shane Watson, who retired from all cricket after CSK’s exit from IPL 2020. Leg-spinner Gowtham was roped in to bolster their spin division whereas Pujara will carry his expertise into play if he options within the enjoying XI.

The new recruits will be a part of the core group which has had a lot success for CSK prior to now. But solely time will inform if they’ll change the staff’s fortune round after they take the sector from April 10.

THE RETURN OF CHINNA THALA

AFP Photo

Suresh Raina’s absence was a giant blow for CSK in IPL 2020. The vice-captain had pulled out simply days earlier than the event due to private causes.

But ‘Chinna Thala’, because the CSK followers like to name Raina, will probably be back donning the yellow jersey as soon as once more. Raina, the second-highest run-scorer within the league, is a significant cog in CSK’s wheel and has the flexibility to change the sport single-handedly.

Raina has been coaching onerous in Ghaziabad for his return and lately joined the squad in Mumbai forward of their season-opener towards Delhi Capitals. His return is unquestionably going to be one of the crucial highly-anticipated moments on this yr’s IPL.

TEAM BALANCE

CSK Instagram Photo

CSK retained 18 gamers earlier than this yr’s public sale which primarily consists of the core group of gamers who’ve been part of the franchise for fairly a while, alongside with just a few younger names like Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sam Curran and Shardul Thakur who’ve finished nicely for them within the current previous.

The likes of Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, Imran Tahir and Deepak Chahar have been the spine of their squad and can proceed to essay the identical function this yr alongside with Raina, who holds crucial place of their batting lineup at No. 3.

CSK FULL SQUAD

MS Dhoni (c), Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Robin Uthappa, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Imran Tahir, Sam Curran, Karn Sharma, N. Jagdeesan, KM Asif, Sai Kishore, Lungi Ngidi, Mitchell Santner, Josh Hazlewood, Moeen Ali, Okay Gowtham, Cheteshwar Pujara, M Harisankar Reddy, Okay Bhagath Varma, C Hari Nishaanth.

CSK FULL SCHEDULE FOR IPL 2021

April 10 – Chennai Super Kings v Delhi Capitals, Mumbai, 7.30pm

April 16 – Punjab Kings v Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai, 7.30pm

April 19 – Chennai Super Kings vs Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai, 7.30pm

April 21 – Kolkata Knight Riders vs Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai, 7.30pm

April 25 – Chennai Super Kings vs Royal Challengers, Mumbai, 3.30pm

April 28 – Chennai Super Kings vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, Delhi, 7.30pm

May 1 – Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings, Delhi, 7.30pm

May 5 – Rajasthan Royals vs Chennai Super Kings, Delhi, 7.30pm

May 7 – Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Chennai Super Kings, Delhi, 7.30pm

May 9 – Chennai Super Kings vs Punjab Kings, Bangalore, 3.30pm

May 12 – Chennai Super Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders, Bangalore, 7.30pm

May 16 – Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians, Bangalore, 7.30pm

May 21 – Capitals vs Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata, 7.30pm

May 23 – Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata, 7.30pm

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