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With just over 6 weeks to go for IPL 2020, the franchises must be keenly monitoring the performances of their players. They will also look to address injury concerns before the season. Jofra Archer's injury will certainly alert the other franchises to keep an eye on the fitness levels of their key overseas players.
The reason why franchises stress so much on their overseas players is that very often, it's the 4 overseas players who turn the matches for their teams. Also, since only 4 out of 8 overseas players can be picked, the selections must not affect the team's balance and should be made taking into account the pitch, and other conditions. It's another reason why franchises spend a lot of cash on acquiring overseas assets in the auction.
Having established the importance of the overseas player combination, let's take a look at the best overseas combination for each team, and the strategies which they may employ.
Chennai Super Kings
Best overseas combination: Shane Watson/ Faf du Plessis, Sam Curran, Lungi Ngidi, and Imran Tahir
Also see – IPL Players List
CSK's Ideal XI: Shane Watson/ Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni(C) (WK), Kedar Jadhav, Sam Curran, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir, and Shardul Thakur/ Piyush Chawla/ Harbhajan Singh(Depending on the pitch)
Chennai Super Kings has a very confusing overseas players conundrum to deal with come next season.
The main issue comes at the top of the order and it seems clear that only one of Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis can play. This is because Ambati Rayudu has done better at the top of the order, and he should open the batting. Both Watson and Du Plessis aren't in good form right now and the management has to take a tough call on them.
More confusion ensues in the selection of the all-rounders. Dwayne Bravo has been a crowd-favourite and the CSK faithful for a long time. But he has had a couple of sub-par seasons and doesn't seem to be getting better.
In contrast, Sam Curran has done very well for England, and the youngster should get the nod ahead of Bravo.
Lungi Ngidi will certainly be CSK's first-choice overseas pacer to partner Chahar, Curran, and Thakur and his spot in the side should be assured. The 23-year old picked up 9 wickets in 7 games in the Mzansi Super League and made a good comeback to the national team in the ODIs against England.
The final overseas spot should go to last season's Purple cap winner Imran Tahir. The 40-year old is still going strong and did very well in the Mzanzi Super League playing for Nelson Mandela Bay Giants. Though he'll have competition in the form of CSK's big signing Piyush Chawla, Tahir should play due to his consistency and natural wicket-taking ability.
The rest of the spinners barring Jadeja will be rotated according to the conditions.