The player auctions for Indian Premier League 2021 will take place on February 18 and teams will look to give final touches to their respective squads in what is likely to be a mini-auction. Three-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings had an underwhelming season in 2020 where they failed to make the playoffs for the first time. While captain MS Dhoni had emphatically declared that CSK’s last IPL 2020 match was “definitely not” the last time he would be seen in the yellow jersey, the same could not be said of his generation of players. Harbhajan Singh, Murali Vijay, Kedar Jadhav and Piyush Chawla among others have been released ahead of the auction as CSK look to replace some T20 veterans.
Here is a summary of the kind of players they need in the squad and whom they could buy
With Shane Watson retiring, CSK may need an opening batsman to accompany Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis even as their trusted No. 3 Suresh Raina is expected to return to action. CSK have one overseas slot remaining and Aaron Finch, the Australia limited-overs skipper, who was released by Royal Challengers Bangalore, could fit the bill. Finch has 2005 runs from 87 IPL matches.
With Dhoni, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja and Sam Curran in the squad, the middle-order slots are occupied. Dwayne Bravo is there, too. CSK could keep their middle order intact.
Imran Tahir may finally get a longer run after playing just three games in IPL 2020. However, with Harbhajan and Chawla released CSK will look for another spinner in the squad to accompany Jadeja, Karn Sharma, R Sai Kishore and Mitchell Santner. Pawan Negi, released by Royal Challengers Bangalore, could find a place in the CSK squad as a back-up player for Jadeja, who is still nursing an injury.
An attack comprising of Lungi Ngidi, Josh Hazlewood, Deepak Chahar, KM Asif and Shardul Thakur does inspire confidence, given how Chahar and Thakur have fared under Dhoni’s captaincy. However, CSK may look for another Indian pacer and Mohit Sharma, a former comrade, may find a second chance.
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