For a team that took pride in qualifying for the IPL playoffs every single year they played, last season was simply a disaster for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Inconsistency in both the batting and bowling departments saw them finish second-last in the points table. They managed just six wins in the IPL in 2020.
Several CSK players were on the wrong side of 30, and the franchise were severely criticized for not backing enough young players. The likes of Sam Curran and Ruturaj Gaikwad were perhaps the only shining lights in a rather disappointing season for the Chennai Super Kings.
3 released players who could strengthen Chennai Super Kings
CSK need to form a new core for the team's future and will be keen to undergo a mini revamp at the IPL 2021 Auction.
Here are three released players who can provide a solution to the Chennai Super Kings' problems in the upcoming IPL season.
#3 Tom Banton
Tom Banton was bought by the Kolkata Knight Riders at the IPL 2020 Auction following his exploits in the Vitality T20 Blast for Somerset. He also had a sensational 2019-20 Big Bash League with the Brisbane Heat and looked set to play an important part for KKR.
However, he did not get enough chances as KKR mostly stuck with the combination of Sunil Narine and Shubman Gill at the top of the order. He played just two games and scored 18 runs. The England batsman was released by the franchise ahead of the upcoming season.
If the Chennai Super Kings manage to bring in Banton, his attacking gameplay will prove to be the ideal foil for Gaikwad. Banton has the ability to fill the void created by Shane Watson's departure by providing flying starts to CSK.
The Chennai Super Kings have just one overseas slot left and it will be interesting to see if they fill it with the swashbuckling England opener.
#2 Jason Roy
Jason Roy, another England opener, is a great option to fill the Chennai Super Kings' vacant overseas spot. Roy is a proven match-winner for his nation at the top of the order. He has been instrumental in England's recent success in white-ball cricket.
However, Roy has played only eight IPL games and didn't get the amount of chances that he deserved. The former Gujarat Lions and Delhi Daredevils player will be hoping to be picked up by a franchise where he will get a consistent run in the playing 11.
Chennai Super Kings could certainly be the team to give Roy a long rope. His counter-attacking style of batting will be the perfect combination to go with Gaikwad's calm approach.
#1 Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali has simply been a sensational all-rounder for England, especially in white-ball cricket. His hard-hitting ability with the bat and useful off-spin bowling make him a great prospect for IPL teams.
Ali was snapped up by the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the IPL 2018 Auction. However, in three seasons with RCB, the 33-year-old didn't feature regularly. Even then, he scored 309 runs in 19 IPL games at an amazing strike rate of 158.46. He also picked up 10 wickets at a decent economy rate of 7.13.
A few eyebrows were raised when RCB let go of Ali ahead of the new IPL season. If the Chennai Super Kings manage to bring him in, he will solidify their middle-order and also provide MS Dhoni with an extra bowling option.
All-rounders are crucial in T20 cricket and Ali is likely to be a sought after player at the auction. The Chennai Super Kings do not have a quality off-spinner after they released Harbhajan Singh. So Ali would be the perfect recruit for CSK.
Moeen Ali has always been underrated and CSK could do a smart piece of business by snapping up the 33-year-old.