Fans will be treated to the return of a number of stars, including captain MS Dhoni and second-highest IPL run-scorer Suresh Raina. With this comes immense doubt, as these players are short of match-practice and may take a while to get going in IPL 2021.
But overall, CSK have an extremely balanced roster that has been boosted by the additions of Moeen Ali and Krishnappa Gowtham. Any team led by Dhoni can never be counted out, and IPL 2021 will present another opportunity for the former Indian skipper to remind critics how great he truly is.
Here are 3 reasons why CSK will win IPL 2021.
#3 CSK have a treasure trove of experience
A major criticism that has been levelled at the CSK squad is the average age.
In Faf du Plessis, MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo, Imran Tahir, Ambati Rayudu and Robin Uthappa, the Men in Yellow have a number of key players on the wrong side of 30. Even new acquisitions Gowtham and Ali aren't spring chickens.
But with this age comes a treasure trove of experience - something that has led CSK to three IPL titles and two Champions League T20 titles. Put simply, Dhoni and his men know exactly how to react to any situation that comes their way. This experience cannot be discounted at any cost, as it is something all winning teams have had in abundance.
CSK's squad is experienced enough to know how to overcome any age-related impediments, and could take the team to yet another IPL crown.
#2 CSK have a strong bench
CSK's squad for IPL 2021: MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, KM Asif, Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, N Jagadeesan, Karn Sharma, Lungi Ngidi, Mitchell Santner, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shardul Thakur, Sam Curran, R Sai Kishore, Robin Uthappa, Moeen Ali, Krishnappa Gowtham, Cheteshwar Pujara, M Harisankar Reddy, K Bhagath Varma, C Hari Nishaanth
The above squad reveals one thing - the playing XI will be world-class on paper irrespective of who makes the cut. If all of these players were in their prime, or even moderately close to it, CSK's IPL 2021 squad would be among the best assembled in T20 history.
Last season, CSK struggled to arrive at a meaningful combination. The opening partnership was uncharacteristically changed quite often, while the spinners engaged in a game of musical chairs after failing to impress. But this season, with a number of players waiting in the wings for their chances, CSK have the luxury of an army of backups.
CSK's first XI is so strong that even N Jagadeesan, who has piled on the runs in the domestic circuit for many years now, may not make the team.
#1 CSK have a number of quality all-rounders
Any quality T20 team has a number of all-rounders, and CSK have emphatically ticked this box. Apart from Jadeja, Bravo, Curran, Ali, Gowtham, Santner and Thakur, CSK can call upon Raina and new signing Bhagath Varma. Even otherwise, Chahar and Karn are capable with the bat.
This means that CSK will have an enviably long tail in IPL 2021. MS Dhoni's biggest dream as a captain will be realised - a plethora of bowling options that can be used as per the demands of the situation.
Dhoni's astute tactical mind has got the best out of his all-rounders on a number of occasions, and we could see Ali, Curran and Thakur show marked improvements to their game in IPL 2021. And these all-rounders could, in turn, help CSK win their fourth IPL title.