Irfan Pathan backs Chennai Super Kings to come good
What's the story?
Ahead of the 2018 edition of the IPL, Indian all-rounder, Irfan Pathan gave his two cents about the teams who stand in good stead to go for the title. Speaking to Cricketnext, the 33-year-old predicted that sides like Mumbai Indians, King XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad stand a good chance of winning the IPL but also backed his former employers Chennai Super Kings, despite the side from down-south going performing poorly in the auction.
Shedding light on the auction strategies, Irfan Pathan said, “I think most of the teams have made big changes to their respective squads, for example, Kings XI Punjab, they have completely overhauled their side. While few teams have retained the core of their squad and added new faces to complement their key players. It will be interesting to see if teams will aid from their respective strategies and also the performance of the franchisees will depend upon how these players gel”.
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On their return, Chennai Super Kings retained MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja ahead of the auctions. However, their performance in the auction was rated as poor by fans and experts alike, as the team bought several fringe players playing on the wrong side of their careers.
The heart of the matter
With not many people backing the Chennai-based outfit to do well in the 11th edition of the IPL, former CSK player Irfan Pathan has full confidence that they will come good despite having a relatively poor squad on paper.
"One cannot discount Chennai Super Kings ever. They have a wonderful captain (Mahendra Singh Dhoni) and they also assembled a very experienced squad (in the auction). Their fortunes will depend upon how fit and agile these experienced hands are, but other than that, I think they will do well,” said Irfan Pathan.
The man from Baroda had encouraging words for the youngsters from the U-19 World Cup winning team who have fetched IPL contracts. The southpaw wished that the youngsters successfully make the leap from age-level cricket to the big stage.
With IPL 2018 set to take center stage 11 days, with two most successful teams in the history of the tournament, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, are set to lock horns in the inaugural game of the 11th edition. CSK, along with Rajasthan Royals, return to the IPL after an absence of two years as the entire cricketing world prepare for the cricket carnival.
If we have learned anything from the first 10 years of the IPL, it is that MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings can never be written off. As for Irfan Pathan, despite being out-of-favor in the national setup and then going unsold in the auction, one really hopes he can show one final flurry for all his fans around the world.