The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have always had a strong overseas contingent in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Right from Matthew Hayden and Muttiah Muralitharan to Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum, the 3-time IPL champions have been able to call upon some of the world's best cricketers.
The 2021 IPL will be no different, as CSK have 8 overseas players as part of the roster. The only new face is England all-rounder Moeen Ali, who was signed in the 2021 auction for INR 7 crores. Competition will definitely be fierce for spots in the playing XI.
Check the complete list of IPL 2021 teams here.
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, Josh Hazlewood, R Sai Kishore, Robin Uthappa, Moeen Ali, Krishnappa Gowtham, Cheteshwar Pujara, M Harisankar Reddy, K Bhagath Varma, C Hari Nishaanth
In this article, we predict the four overseas players in CSK's XI for IPL 2021.
Sam Curran, Faf du Plessis guaranteed to be part of CSK's playing XI in IPL 2021
While Curran impressed in almost every game with either bat or ball and was one of the team's most consistent performers, Du Plessis' importance to the side has been heightened by the retirement of Shane Watson.
Curran is the future of CSK, and should be given more opportunities to prove his immense worth. Du Plessis, on the other hand, finished last year's IPL as the leading run-getter for CSK and will look to capitalise on the few years of cricket he has left at the top level.
Moeen Ali, Dwayne Bravo, Lungi Ngidi and Imran Tahir the candidates for the remaining slots
New acquisition Moeen Ali, legendary all-rounder Dwayne Bravo and the South African bowling duo of Imran Tahir and Lungi Ngidi are the candidates for the remaining two slots, with Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Santner unlikely to be first-choice.
Bravo has served CSK well over the years, but his time in the IPL seems to be drawing to a close. Injuries and age have taken their toll on the West Indian, and although he has over 500 wickets to his name in the T20 format, he's not the match-winner he once was with both bat and ball. The presence of Shardul Thakur and Curran as pace-bowling all-rounders also reduces the need to play Bravo.
CSK were without an off-spinning option last year due to the withdrawals of Harbhajan Singh and Suresh Raina, and the spin department struggled against opposition left-handers. As a result, either Krishnappa Gowtham or Moeen Ali is guaranteed to be part of the XI.
Ali should pip Gowtham to a spot in the XI, since he's a much more proven performer with the bat and is highly experienced at the international level. CSK can afford to play an overseas all-rounder due to the presence of many quality Indian batsmen, and the Englishman should play most games for the side in IPL 2021.
The final spot is a straight shootout between Tahir and Ngidi, depending upon the venue and the conditions. CSK play 5 games in Mumbai, 4 in Delhi, 3 in Bangalore and 2 in Kolkata as per IPL 2021 schedule.
Of late, only the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi has offered significant turn, and Ngidi might be ahead of Tahir - and Josh Hazlewood - in the pecking order. If there is grip and turn on offer, though, the Proteas leggie walks into the side ahead of the likes of Karn Sharma.
VERDICT: Sam Curran, Moeen Ali, Faf du Plessis, Lungi Ngidi