Defending champions Chennai Super Kings on Saturday kicked off their full-fledged preparations for the upcoming IPL season at the MA Chidambaram stadium. They will lock horns with Royal Challengers Bangalore on March 23 in the opening match of the season. MS Dhoni, who led the CSK to a third title triumph in the 2018 edition, was also seen toiling at the nets along with Ambati Rayudu and Kedar Jadhav, who were part of the Indian squad that lost the five-match ODI series against Australia recently.
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) 16 March 2019
Dhoni, who arrived in Chennai on Friday, didn’t waste any time as he was seen discussing with head coach Stephen Fleming and batting coach Mike Hussey. The former Indian skipper, Rayudu, Jadhav, Suresh Raina, and others were present at the nets under the watchful eyes of Fleming and Hussey.
The domestic players in the squad, which include Karn Sharma, KM Asif, and Tamil Nadu wicket-keeper N Jagadeesan, started training on March 6. Suresh Raina and Tamil Nadu opener Murali Vijay joined the camp a few days later.
The foreign players in the CSK squad are expected to join the training camp in the days to come. Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis and spinner Imran Tahir are currently engaged in limited over series against Sri Lanka.
CSK have retained most of their player that featured in the previous season and Hussey believes that they can take a lot of confidence from the last season.
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) March 17, 2019
“With a team like Chennai Super Kings there is always expectations but I think we can take a lot of confidence from the last season going into the new one,” the former Australia cricketer was quoted as saying on the CSK website.
He also said the team hoped to play more matches in Chennai this time after it was forced to rebase to Pune last season owing to the political climate in Tamil Nadu due to the Cauvery river water dispute.
“Hopefully, we get plenty more games in Chennai as well, in front of our home fans who we often feel are an extra fielder for us,” Hussey added.
The sale of tickets for the first game begun on Saturday, however, as per reports, they are already sold out.