CSK or LSG - Which team has the better IPL 2024 squad?

KL Rahul (left) and MS Dhoni (right) (Image via IPL)
KL Rahul (left) and MS Dhoni (right) (Image via IPL)

The IPL 2024 auction was conducted on December 19 in Dubai. All the teams bought new players to try and get the right combination for the upcoming season.

While teams like the Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings had a big budget to work with, others like the Lucknow Super Giants had to be shrewd with their signings.

Both CSK and LSG look quite strong heading into IPL 2024. Let's analyze and compare both their squads:

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) squad overview

Which players did they retain?

MS Dhoni (C), Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali, Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shivam Dube, Deepak Chahar, Mitchell Santner, Ajinkya Rahane, Shivam Dube, Mukesh Choudhary, Matheesha Pathirana, Maheesh Theekshana, Tushar Deshpande, Ajay Mandal, Shaik Rasheed, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Simarjeet Singh, Nishant Sindhu, Prashant Solanki

What did they need at the IPL 2024 auction?

  1. Ambati Rayudu replacement
  2. Moeen Ali upgrade
  3. Ben Stokes replacement
  4. Matheesha Pathirana backup

Whom did they buy at the IPL 2024 auction?

Shardul Thakur (₹4 crore), Rachin Ravindra (₹1.8 crore), Daryl Mitchell (₹14 crore), Sameer Rizvi (₹8.4 crore), Mustafizur Rahman (₹2 crore), Avanish Rao Aravelly (₹20 lakh)

Squad analysis

Chennai Super Kings were able to plug the holes in their team. They bought Rachin Ravindra and Shardul Thakur at bargain prices, which allowed them to splurge ₹14 crore on Daryl Mitchell. One of Ravindra and Mitchell can replace Moeen Ali in the playing XI. In some games, even both of them could play.

Sameer Rizvi was the surprising buy, as CSK don't usually spend big on young Indian domestic players. He's likely to be used as an impact player to fill the void left by Ambati Rayudu. Mustafizur Rahman's variations and trickery make him the ideal backup to Matheesha Pathirana.

Despite having a substantial purse of ₹31.4 crore, their best buy of the IPL 2024 auction was Shardul at ₹4 crore. Not only did it allow them to go all in for Mitchell, but it also gave them batting depth as well as the option to go without an overseas pacer.

They could use Devon Conway, Ravindra, Mitchell and Maheesh Theekshana if Pathirana is out of form. Shardul, Deepak Chahar, and one of Mukesh Choudhary and Tushar Deshpande could act as the three pacers.

Strongest playing XI

Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway (✈), Ajinkya Rahane, Shivam Dube, Daryl Mitchell (✈), Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni (C) (WK), Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Maheesh Theekshana (✈), Mathisha Pathirana (✈), Sameer Rizvi (Impact Player)

Lucknow (LSG) squad overview

Which players did they retain?

KL Rahul (C), Quinton de Kock, Nicholas Pooran, Ayush Badoni, Kyle Mayers, Marcus Stoinis, Deepak Hooda, Devdutt Padikkal (traded from RR), Ravi Bishnoi, Naveen-ul-Haq, Krunal Pandya, Yudhvir Singh, Prerak Mankad, Yash Thakur, Amit Mishra, Mark Wood, Mayank Yadav, Mohsin Khan, Krishnappa Gowtham

What did they need at the IPL 2024 auction?

  1. Avesh Khan replacement

Whom did they buy at the IPL 2024 auction?

Shivam Mavi (₹6.40 crore), Arshin Kulkarni (₹20 lakh), M. Siddharth (₹2.40 crore), Ashton Turner (₹1 crore), David Willey (₹2 crore), Arshad Khan (₹20 lakh)

Squad analysis

Lucknow Super Giants didn't have much work to do at the IPL 2024 auction. They had already sorted their batting unit by trading in Devdutt Padikkal from the Rajasthan Royals before the auction. Avesh Khan went to RR in a player-for-player trade. Hence, LSG's main objective was to replace Avesh.

Padikkal hasn't been batting the way he did for Royal Challengers Bangalore in his breahtrough IPL 2020 campaign. However, allowing him to bat in his preferred opening position will mean that KL Rahul can bat at No. 4. That will make their batting unit stronger and deeper.

They did that successfully by snapping up Shivam Mavi for ₹6.40 crore. The pace bowler can bat a bit, but he will essentially be competing with Mohsin Khan and Yash Thakur for the two Indian pacer slots in their playing XI. The only con of a player like Mavi is that he's injury-prone.

Arshin Kulkarni was a solid buy for LSG as well. The highly rated young all-rounder is set to represent India at the upcoming U-19 World Cup in South Africa. If there's any team he could get a few games at in IPL 2024, it is LSG, as they have a couple of Indian all-rounders in their lineup.

Strongest playing XI

Devdutt Padikkal, Quinton de Kock (✈) (WK), Nicholas Pooran (✈), KL Rahul (✈), Deepak Hooda, Marcus Stoinis (✈), Krunal Pandya, Shivam Mavi, Mohsin Khan, Ravi Bishnoi, Mark Wood (✈), Ayush Badoni (Impact Player)

CSK edge LSG due to experience and a better pace attack in IPL 2024

Both teams look very strong on paper and will be in the running to make the top four for the IPL 2024 playoffs. However, CSK have a slight edge when it comes to the bowling unit. There's a clear difference in quality when comparing Shardul and Deepak with Mavi and Mohsin.

Both have really good batting units. While LSG arguably possess a more lethal top six CSK bat much deeper, as someone like Deepak will be coming in at No. 10 due to the impact player rule. Hence, even if a couple of CSK batters fail every game, it won't affect them as much.

The MS Dhoni-led side also have better backups, with the likes of Rachin Ravinda, Mitchell Santner, Tushar Deshpande and Mukesh Chaudhary not featuring in their strongest playing XI. Most importantly, a lot of these CSK players have won IPL titles, which is always a bonus.

Overall, CSK are probably among the top three strongest playing XIs (with the Mumbai Indians first and the Rajasthan Royals second), and LSG are among the top five strongest playing XIs (with the Gujarat Titans fourth).

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Edited by Bhargav
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