IPL 2019: Chennai Super Kings Team Preview
The 3-time champions would be gearing up for another season of IPL with a team that would on the first impression, just like last year, look a bit old and jaded. But then it was the same old and jaded unit that wiped the floor with everyone and won the tournament.
The key and mantra with CSK has always been consistency and 2019 doesn't look much different. They've kept most of the same and added Mohit Sharma into the side to provide the fast bowling option. The "Whistle Podu" team would be raring to go and defend the title that they won last year.
The biggest strength has to be the core Indian group that is part of the team. With Raina, Rayudu, Dhoni, and Jadhav they have a more than able core group which provides them with the flexibility in team composition and allows them to try different team combinations.
To add to it, the plethora of options in all departments be it opening the innings (Rayudu, Watson or Du Plessis) or lower order (Billings, Jadeja, and Bravo) or even the bowling unit. The team is stacked with resources for all departments.
There aren't too many to pinpoint but one thing that does stand out is the comparative weakness of the bowling unit as compared to the batting unit. If Watson and Raina bowl well on a given day then the side morphs into something completely different but if they can't then their bowling is comparatively a weaker proposition.
A lot will depend on how Watson fares in the team because he's one player that can get on a roll after one good game. CSK would be banking on him to find form early as it would solve a lot of their problems. Dwayne Bravo would be crucial as well for the team because in recent times in different T20 leagues he's gone for a few.
MS Dhoni (C & WK), KM Asif, Sam Billings, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Faf Du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir, Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Narayan Jagadeesan, Lungi Ngidi, Suresh Raina, Monu Kumar, Mitchell Santner, Karn Sharma, Mohit Sharma, Dhruv Shorey, Shardul Thakur, Murali Vijay, Shane Watson, David Willey
A top 4 finish is pretty much a certainty with the Yellow Brigade. Championship Contention? Well, let's just say they would be one of the favourites when the season begins.