April 6, 2018 6:51:34 pm
Chennai Super Kings are making a comeback to the IPL after serving a two-year suspension. The MS Dhoni-led side will be up against the defending champions Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede stadium. Between 2008 and 2015, Chennai Super Kings had been part of all but two IPL finals and have gone beyond the league stage in every season. Let’s take a look at how different CSK look this season from the sides that dominated the league untill two years ago.
Dhoni gets back to captaincy
MS Dhoni has been captain of CSK from the inaugural season of the league and has led them to the title twice. He would once again lead the team when they take the field on Saturday against Mumbai Indians. While Dhoni resigned from the post of India’s limited overs skipper in the 2017, one can hear him barking orders from the stump mic recordings with Virat Kohli stating that he remains a vital cog. He remains one of the most respected figures in world cricket and his position at the helm of affairs augurs well for CSK.
Chennai Super Kings retained the trio of Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja at the IPL 2018 player retention in Mumbai. Raina, who is the highest run getter in IPL history, has been a consistent performer for the franchise with the willow. Jadeja, on the other hand, has been Dhoni’s first-choice bowler when it comes to putting a halt on the scoring-rate of the opponents. Moreover, CSK used their Right to Match (RTM) card to get Dwayne Bravo back in the line-up. Bravo has proved to be one of the most important bowlers for CSK in the death overs. Interestingly, Raina, Jadeja and Bravo shared the dressing room during these two years as they were the part of Gujarat Lions. South Africa captain Faf du Plessis will also join the squad. Du Plessis had spent time with Dhoni while donning the Rising Pune Supergiant kit earlier.
Departed old faces, arriving new faces
While CSK retained their core team, they did let go of spinner R Ashwin in this auction but drafted Harbhajan Singh who had earlier played for Mumbai Indians franchise. Apart from Harbhajan, Shane Watson has also joined CSK from RCB. They thus have two front-line all-rounders in Watson and Bravo.
Apart from Harbhajan Singh and Shane Watson, Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu, Mitchell Santner, Mark Wood, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir, Sam Billings and Shardul Thakur are some of the international players on whom the franchise has invested on. It’s a home coming for Murali Vijay who is returning to the CSK squad after spending time at Kings XI Punjab.
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