The four-time champions had a season to forget in IPL 2022, finishing ninth in the points table and failing to come anywhere close to defending their title. With the career of their skipper MS Dhoni winding down, CSK will want to get back to the unrivaled consistency of their glory days.
The IPL 2023 auction, to be held on December 23, will present a good opportunity for the Super Kings to assemble a roster that can challenge for the trophy this time around. However, they might need to be wary of going after a few names.
Here are three players CSK might be tempted to target in the IPL 2023 auction but shouldn't.
#3 Ben Stokes
Dwayne Bravo has been moved into a bowling-coach role, while Deepak Chahar has been dealing with a plethora of injuries. Shivam Dube is hardly a reliable bowler either, meaning that CSK don't have any proper fast-bowling all-rounders on their roster.
While former player Sam Curran might be on their radar, the Men in Yellow need to be careful not to acquire an overseas all-rounder who doesn't exactly fit in. Ben Stokes might seem like an appealing option on paper, but unlike Curran and maybe even Cameron Green, he might not be suitable for CSK's needs.
Stokes is at his best while opening the batting in T20 cricket, a role the Super Kings cannot give him due to the presence of Devon Conway and Ruturaj Gaikwad. The Englishman has also shown a tendency to get stuck at the crease at times, especially against spin, and his bowling might not be too effective either.
#2 Manish Pandey
CSK have always had a few veteran Indian batters on their roster. In IPL 2023, they will be without Robin Uthappa, who has announced this retirement, while Ambati Rayudu too did the same before going back on his decision.
MS Dhoni loves having middle-order batters of the Indian variety, often using overseas slots for either openers or those who present bowling options. Manish Pandey, who was released by the Lucknow Super Giants after a disappointing IPL 2022 campaign, is among those touted to be snapped up by CSK.
Pandey is a decent player of spin and his electric fielding will be of great benefit to an aging CSK side. But to put it quite simply, his game has deteriorated massively over the last few years and he arguably isn't even cut out for the IPL level anymore. The 33-year-old has obvious technical limitations that he's unlikely to fix anytime soon, and the Super Kings could have another Kedar Jadhav situation on their hands if they go after him.
#1 Joe Root
Joe Root has thrust his name into the IPL 2023 auction pool, having openly expressed an interest in experiencing what the lucrative league has to offer. As someone who's not even part of their country's T20I side, Root is unlikely to find many teams interested in his services.
One franchise that might entertain the possibility of signing Root is the Chennai Super Kings. The Englishman is an excellent player of spin and could be a decent bowling option on turning tracks. At least at Chepauk, he could be of utility to the four-time champions, who might consider him a backup to Moeen Ali at some level.
But Root just isn't a solid T20 player. CSK need their overseas players to be dynamic with the bat, since they already have a few sedate batters in their top order. Moreover, with Mitchell Santner having been retained, Root won't really offer anything they don't already have.
Poll : Should CSK target Ben Stokes in the IPL 2023 auction?