CSK after winning IPL 2021 Title
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) is arguably one of the most successful and formidable franchises in the history of the IPL. Barring the forgettable 2020 season, CSK have reached playoffs in every IPL edition and have emerged victorious four times (2010, 2011, 2018, 2021).
One of the critical factors of CSK’s remarkable success has been their team selection and calculated approach in auctions and retentions. CSK have retained Ruturaj Gaikwad, Moeen Ali, Ravi Jadeja and MS Dhoni ahead of the 2022 Mega Auction.
Looking at the long-term picture, all three players (barring MSD) fit into their vision and plan for continued success. But to have a balance in their unit, CSK will be looking to target a few other players as well, including the Australian players’ talent pool.
#3: Josh Hazelwood: Balanced bowling attack in CSK the squad
Josh Hazelwood is often talked about as a traditional red-ball bowler with remarkable similarities to the great Glenn McGrath. CSK integrated Hazelwood into their squad in 2020.
Despite playing only twelve matches with the franchise in the last two seasons, Hazelwood has been one of the most crucial bowlers for the team. Hazelwood has been highly efficient in taking the middle and death overs for Chennai. He has taken 12 wickets at an economic run rate of 7.9, including two crucial wickets in their victorious final in the 2021 edition.
“I’ve learned a fair bit during the IPL with Chennai (Super Kings) and the other bowlers around. They’re all from different backgrounds. You just learn little things from people along the way and try and put them into practice,” Hazelwood said post his successful T20 World Cup Campaign.
#2: Steve Smith: Strategic leadership at CSK
Steve Smith is the best red-ball batsman and has participated in leadership roles for Australia and Rajasthan Royals at the IPL. Smith was instrumental in leading the Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) to the 2017 IPL final as well.
Smith has been a successful IPL campaigner with eleven 50+ scores and one century at a strike rate of over 128. Smith brings stability to the middle-order, and CSK will be looking at him to replace Suresh Raina.
CSK have not retained Raina and will be keen to get Steve Smith as a middle-order specialist.
#1: Marcus Stoinis: Destruction in the middle-order for CSK in the post-Bravo era
Marcus Stoinis has been part of the IPL since 2016 and played for Delhi Capitals (debuted with Delhi Daredevils) and Kings XI Punjab (Punjab Kings now). Stoinis has been a destructive middle-order batsman with an all-round ability to bowl at crucial moments.
Stoinis has a strike rate of 135+ with the bat. He bowls with an economy of 9.5 at a strike rate of 20 in the crucial middle overs. He could be a perfect replacement for Dwayne Bravo in the long-term.
Although Bravo, turning 39 this year, has not retired from franchise cricket, CSK would be keen to look for a long-term replacement and bag Stoinis in 2022.
Honorable Mentions: Other Players CSK might target
Mitchell Starc: A regular member of the RCB squad during the 2012-2015 season, Starc has missed the last six seasons of IPL for several reasons. His quick left-arm deliveries can add great value to the CSK squad.