Ahead of the 2019 IPL player auction to be held next month, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have released England fast bowler Mark Wood and two other uncapped players, Kanish Seth and Kshitiz Sharma.
Mark Wood played in the opening IPL match of the 2018 season against Mumbai Indians. He had a good start to IPL when his first 2 overs went for just 13 runs. However, his third and fourth over went for 17 runs apiece as the Pandya brothers took him apart. In the end, Mark Wood finished with expensive bowling figures of 4 overs for 49 runs without a wicket. He was not considered for the playing XI thereafter.
The release of Mark Wood has left CSK with an extra purse of 1.5 crores and a foreign player quota to fill in. As such, CSK have two overseas fast bowlers, England’s David Willey and South Africa’s Lungi Ngidi. Besides, they do have the seam-bowling all-rounders Shane Watson and Dwayne Bravo.
The CSK management is smart enough to retain the other spin-bowling all-rounder Mitchell Santner who missed the last IPL due to injury. Traditionally, the CSK management believes in continuing with tried and tested players. That has been reflected in their action to retain 22 existing players.
In this article, let us analyse the possibilities of 3 better players whom CSK would love to have a look-in in the IPL auctions 2019.
#1 Oshane Thomas of West Indies
Oshane Thomas made his ODI and T20I debut against India in the recently concluded series. Though he was expensive, he displayed his ability to bowl fast and furious with the new ball. He is one bowler who could bowl at a consistent pace of around 145 kph in his short bursts in T20 matches.
He took Shikhar Dhawan's wicket on 3 occasions in the ODI and T20 series and on all those 3 occasions, Dhawan was beaten for pace and was bowled neck and crop.
In the present CSK squad, apart from Lungi Ngidi, there is no other express fast bowler who could unsettle the opposition batsmen with his pace. There is a possibility that IPL 2019 might be held in South Africa, in which case, Oshane Thomas would be an ideal opening bowler along with Lungi Ngidi, to exploit the favourable conditions.
Though Oshane Thomas is inexperienced at the international level, he has played 17 T20 matches in CPL and has taken 26 wickets. The inclusion of Thomas in the CSK set up would be for the mutual benefit for both.