Ahead of the IPL 2023 auction, MS Dhoni and Co. released a few big names, including all-time leading wicket-taker Dwayne Bravo and a bunch of domestic cricketers. Bravo has taken over as the bowling coach, with the rest of the roster seeking to take the franchise back to its greatest heights.
Among those that remain, a few names who weren't fully involved in the team's 2022 campaign might have increased responsibility on their shoulders this time around. Here are three CSK players who might have a massive role to play in IPL 2023.
#3 Prashant Solanki
Signed for ₹1.2 crore, Prashant Solanki is touted as one of CSK's future stars. The talented leg-spinner warmed the bench for almost the entirety of IPL 2022, but with half the group-stage matches set to take place at Chepauk, he might have more to do this time around.
Solanki played only two games for Mumbai in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, picking up two wickets and returning figures that were on the expensive side. The team combination seems to keep him out of all the sides he's part of, with CSK already having three tweakers in Maheesh Theekshana, Ravindra Jadeja and Moeen Ali.
But if the Super Kings want an Indian option, they know where to look. The 22-year-old is a big turner of the ball and has an excellent googly as well.
#2 Devon Conway
It took CSK a long time to reincorporate Devon Conway in the playing XI after his failure in the opening game of IPL 2022, but once they did, the southpaw reeled off a series of fifties. Conway struck an excellent partnership with Ruturaj Gaikwad towards the end of the competition.
Although a Conway-Gaikwad opening partnership leaves the Super Kings a touch vulnerable against pace in the powerplay, both batters are exceptional players of spin and will be invaluable to the side at Chepauk. Robin Uthappa, who opened the innings for the franchise in IPL 2022, has retired, leaving them with one less option.
Conway, as a good fielder and excellent manipulator of the field, is bound to pile on the runs in IPL 2023 and be at the forefront of CSK's plans.
#1 Rajvardhan Hangargekar
Rajvardhan Hangargekar was one of CSK's most exciting purchases at the mega-auction, but he warmed the bench throughout the last campaign. The team management clearly believed that he was too raw for the IPL level, and his domestic performances reflected the same at the time.
However, Hangargekar has made significant strides since then. He had a decent campaign for Maharashtra in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and followed it up with an excellent Vijay Hazare Trophy as his state reached the final. The 20-year-old even contributed a few big hits at the death.
Hangargekar is one of the few hit-the-deck options on CSK's roster right now. He could be used as a middle-overs enforcer to add some variety to a currently one-dimensional bowling attack, especially in away games. We might see him being trusted to don the yellow in IPL 2023.
Poll : Should CSK give Rajvardhan Hangargekar a good run in the XI in IPL 2023?