CSK has always had the same core team since the inception of the IPL, merely changing a few players in every auction. They are the defending champions this year, and that makes the journey even more exciting for their fans.
However, this year, there are more chances of them misfiring, as opposed to getting it all right. Listed below are a few reasons why the Chennai Super Kings may not be able to recreate their magic this year.
The Age Factor
Age is the biggest bane in the life of a cricketer. And like all players of the game, the teammates of CSK are feeling this brunt as well. The core of the Super Kings has been filled with the same cricketers, and time has not been kind to them. Undoubtedly, experience is a plus point in any avenue of the game, but the boldness and agility which comes with young age has almost disappeared from the squad.
There seemed to be no point in retaining Harbhajan Singh and Murali Vijay this year. Singh is visibly past his prime now and did not do well on the wicket-taking front last season or in domestic cricket. Vijay was hardly used last season, and the tactic will likely be repeated this year.
Furthermore, youngsters do not get a chance in the team. Even if they are selected, they are merely used as bench warmers. Even the likes of Imran Tahir and Dwayne Bravo are beginning to show signs of wear and tear, becoming poor and inconsistent with their bowling.
A Depletion of Resources
The IPL 2019 will be badly affected by a huge chunk of players leaving for the World Cup 2019 in the middle of the tournament. One of the worst affected teams will be CSK, as they have a number of top-notch players who will be simultaneously preparing for the World Cup. Faf Du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Lungi Ngidi and David Wiley will be expected to leave midway. Furthermore, Indian players like Ambati Rayadu, Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni will be playing it very safe, so as to not injure themselves.
An Improper Squad Selection
The Chennai Super Kings have always been known to be one step ahead of the curve, constantly thinking ahead, and trailblazing new concepts. However, their auction practices this year have raised quite a few questioning eyebrows. This time, they seemed to be in haste and did not seem to plan ahead.
CSK released only three players, choosing to retain a vast majority of underperformers from last year, including the likes of Sam Billings. Due to this, they had no slot for overseas players, and have no backup for Lungi Ngidi. Mohit Sharma was a star for CSK, bought for INR 5 crore, but he too faded away into the shadows last season.
Players like Karn Sharma and Harbhajan Singh are merely pulling down the squad. The Chennai Super Kings retain a sense of sentimentality towards their old players, and this has been their greatest weakness. They do not have a proper support system, and it will be interesting to watch how they fare once stalwarts like Du Plessis, Tahir, and Ngidi leave.