Chennai Super Kings won their third IPL season last year when they defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad in the finals in 2018 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
However, CSK might struggle to replicate their form this season, as many of their buys are at the fag end of their careers. Cricketers like Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir, Dwayne Bravo, and even MS Dhoni are no more at their prime and hence they might struggle to get going in 2019.
Here are the 4 key players to watch out for.
Dhoni had a brilliant IPL last season where he finished with a stunning average of 75.83. He is coming into the tournament after playing some crucial knocks in Australia and New Zealand and that will give him and his team some boost heading into the IPL. Though the former skipper is a shade of his former self in the format, even getting dropped from the T20I side that faced Australia, Dhoni’s presence in the IPL has often had a calming influence on his teammates and his fans would hope that he can do an encore and get some form behind him heading into the World Cup.
Also Read: KKR – 4 players to watch out for
Rayudu’s form will be very crucial for CSK in 2019. Last season, the team was buoyed by the brilliant run of their openers – Rayudu and Watson – and he will be expected to provide his team with some handy starts again this season.
The former Mumbai Indians player scored 602 runs in 16 matches last season at an average of 43 for CSK. He ended with a strike-rate of 149.75 and even smashed a ton in the edition.
Rayudu will be eager to seize the opportunity and grab his spot in the World Cup team with a solid showing in the Indian T20 event.
Jadhav was retained by CSK despite playing just one match for the franchise last season. The player who formerly played for Royal Challengers Bangalore was bought by CSK for 7.8 crores INR in 2018, but an injury cut short his tournament last year. However, he has done well for Team India whenever an opportunity has presented itself. His part-time spin can be quite handy on the slow tracks at Chepauk, and his batting is sure to hold him in good stead too. With the gradual decline of the previous CSK match-winners, Jadhav’s all-round skills will be crucial in the success of the team.
Also, the player will want to carry forward his international form and hope he can get some momentum ahead of the World Cup.
Bravo has been CSK’s biggest match-winner for CSK, making key contributions match-after-match. However, the 35-year old has not been playing consistently and had a below-par season for the team last year, where he could just score 142 runs. Though he did pick up 14 wickets, he was on the expensive side. Even for his Big Bash League side Melbourne Stars, he was well below his best, but the fans would hope that the explosive West Indian can get back to his groove.
Also Read: Reasons why CSK may not retain their title