IPL 2019: Expected playing XI for Chennai Super Kings in the season opener
Chennai Super Kings will begin their title defense when they take on the Royal Challengers Bangalore side in the very first encounter of the IPL 2019 on 23rd March in the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk, Chennai.
The CSK team will go into the tournament without making any major changes to their team combination, and most likely will be the team which played the finals of the last season where they defeated the SunRisers Hyderabad barring one or two replacements.
CSK's batting line up is undeniably one of the best in the tournament while their pace attack is not one of the best in the business with Mohit Sharma, Shardul Thakur, and Deepak Chahar being the only three Indian seamers.
Chennai Super Kings complete squad: MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Deepak Chahar, KM Asif, Karn Sharma, Dhruv Shorey, Faf du Plessis, M Vijay, Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Billings, Mitchell Santner, David Willey, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir, Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh, N Jagadeesan, Shardul Thakur, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Mohit Sharma, Ruturaj Gaikwad.
The expected playing XI for the opener for the Chennai Super Kings:
Openers: Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu
Shane Watson of the reasons why CSK won the last season. His stunning knock in the finals after a run of good form made sure that the team won their 3rd IPL title on return.
Now, the onus will once again be on him to provide CSK with good starts, and a win against RCB in the opener will bode well for the yellow brigade. His recent form in the PSL will augur well for the CSK in their campaign to retain the title.
Ambati Rayudu was an unlikely opener when the IPL 2018 started, but he took his chances with both his hands and was the leading run-getter for the CSK last season. He, along with Watson was a major factor in the team's success after providing them with good starts more often than not.
He needs a good IPL personally to cement his spot in the World Cup squad after a not so good series against Australia.