Gautam Gambhir has had his say on Chennai Super Kings’ auction strategy ahead of IPL 2021.
The former cricketer named three all-rounders CSK can buy at the upcoming auction.
Chennai Super Kings have a total of ₹22.90 crores in their purse this year. The men in yellow have seven free slots, including one place for an overseas player.
After a season in which their ageing squad limped to 7th place, CSK will target some shrewd buys to improve their side this year.
Speaking to Star Sports, Gautam Gambhir admitted CSK look settled and don’t have many gaps to fill.
But the former cricketer suggested some names the franchise could target in the February 18 auction.
“They will look at someone like K Gowtham as an off-spinner because they have let go of Harbhajan Singh. And a back-up of Bravo, because MS believes a lot in all-rounders with the kind of surface they play on. So they can have someone like Morris or Kyle Jamieson in place of Bravo, that'll be a fabulous team actually.”
CSK have let go of several veterans after last season.
Apart from Harbhajan Singh, even Kedar Jadhav wasn’t retained by the franchise, while Shane Watson announced his retirement from all formats last year.
While satisfied with the overall makeup of the side, Gautam Gambhir is unsure whether Dwayne Bravo will feature regularly for CSK in 2021..
The West Indian ace struggled with injuries last season, playing just six games in the process.
“Whether Bravo can play all the games (is doubtful) and he’s not getting any younger. And at the same time, an Indian seamer, so it could be Umesh Yadav as well. So, once they have Umesh and Deepak Chahar and then they’ve got a backup, for someone like Dwayne Bravo could be Chris Morris and K Gowtham."
Gautam Gambhir confident of CSK’s batting firepower
Scoring runs was a big issue for the Chennai Super Kings last season.
Only Faf du Plessis and Ambati Rayudu scored more than 300 runs for CSK last year, as Shane Watson, MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav found it tough to get going.
But after a postseason which has seen the side retain IPL stalwart Suresh Raina and bring in Robin Uthappa from Rajasthan, Gautam Gambhir feels CSK’s batting problems will be a thing of the past.
"Not many (gaps to fill). Despite not having the best season last time around, I think, they still have a strong core. Suresh Raina has come back now, Robin Uthappa, they have traded from Rajasthan Royals, obviously, their batting looks very strong at the moment which was a bit of a mess in the last season. With the experience of Raina, Uthappa, Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni, they have got a strong Indian batting line-up.”
Claiming Chennai Super Kings don’t have to do much at auction, Gautam Gambhir was in awe of their depth.
“So, they don’t need to fill a lot of gaps because they have got Robin Uthappa. They can open the batting with Faf du Plessis and Robin, with Raina at No. 3, Rayudu at No. 4 and MS at 5. Plus, Bravo, Sam Curran and Ravindra Jadeja, they have got so much depth."