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IPL 2021: 3 CSK players who might be playing their last season

Chennai Super Kings batsman Cheteshwar Pujara
Chennai Super Kings batsman Cheteshwar Pujara
Sai Krishna
FEATURED WRITER

The second phase of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) is slowly drawing closer, with several teams having traveled to the UAE to begin their preparations for the tournament.

The Chennai Super Kings are currently second in the IPL 2021 points table with five wins from seven games and a net run rate of 1.263. They are behind only the Delhi Capitals, whom they will overtake if they win their game in hand.

The BCCI has all but confirmed that the next IPL season will see two new franchises and a mega-auction. This campaign might be the last chance we get to see some of CSK's biggest stars in action on the IPL stage.

Here are three CSK players who might be playing their last IPL season.


#3 Cheteshwar Pujara

Chennai  Super Kings batsman Cheteshwar Pujara
Chennai Super Kings batsman Cheteshwar Pujara

When Cheteshwar Pujara was picked up by CSK in the IPL 2021 auction, the room erupted in a chorus of cheers. India's Test warhorse found an IPL franchise for the first time in several years, with almost all other members of the Test squad being regulars in the tournament.

Pujara's renewed exposure to the IPL may not last long, though. The veteran is behind a long line of quality T20 players at CSK and may not get an opportunity this season to prove what he can bring to a limited-overs side. And if he doesn't play, franchisees aren't going to be keen to raise their paddles for him at next year's auction.

Pujara's second lease of life in the IPL might end at the end of this campaign.


#2 Dwayne Bravo

Chennai Super Kings all-rounder Dwayne Bravo
Chennai Super Kings all-rounder Dwayne Bravo

West Indies legend Dwayne Bravo has been synonymous with the T20 format and the IPL since the inception of both. The 37-year-old has braved the winds of time to continue to turn in exceptional performances, even if his batting and the pace of his bowling have waned in recent years.

It was recently revealed that the upcoming T20 World Cup in the UAE will be Bravo's final stint with the West Indies national team. And unlike 2018, this decision seems to be one taken with an eye on his body and his ability to perform at the highest level.

If Bravo retires from international cricket, it will be very difficult for him to keep an IPL career alive. Not only will he be without top-level match practice, but he will also find it difficult to keep himself in shape round the year. The all-rounder is running his last miles, and IPL 2021 might prove to be the final leg of his incredible IPL journey.


#1 MS Dhoni

Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni
Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni

Ah, MS Dhoni. If you had a dollar for every time someone mentioned Dhoni's retirement, you could buy the CSK franchise and maybe even the IPL.

The former India captain is still going strong fitness-wise, even if his batting hasn't been what it once was. Dhoni would be a difficult proposition for CSK to retain since he is probably overvalued by the retention brackets, and the franchise's greatest-ever player (arguably) going into the mega-auction won't be a sight that pleases fans.

It might be unwise for CSK to even think about retaining Dhoni, considering he is 40 years old and hasn't played international cricket since 2019. Captain Cool might be playing his last season with the Men in Yellow, but it seems inevitable that he will be involved with the franchise in some form over the next few IPL seasons.

Edited by Sai Krishna
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