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Posts Tagged ‘Sam Curran

CSK’s start to this season of the IPL has been erratic so far. A fantastic win against Mumbai Indians were followed by two insipid performances against Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan Royals. The biggest issue for the men in yellow has been their batting order. The openers have struggled to provide good starts and Ambati Rayudu missing out after a brilliant 70 odd hasn’t helped the combination either.

CSK will be playing SRH tonight who themselves have been struggling with their team combination at the start of the tournament. The only difference between the two sides is that SRH are coming off a morale boosting win while CSK have been beaten in their last couple of games. CSK management would have to make some tough calls with team selection to arrest the slide and to get back on track.

The first step towards the same would be to drop Murali Vijay from the XI. Vijay has done exceedingly well for CSK in the past but he is currently looking listless and isn’t contributing with the bat or in the field. Ruturaj Gaikwad who has been wasted down the order can open with Shane Watson pushing Ambati Rayudu and Faf Du Plessis to number 3 and 4 in the order. Kedar Jadhav and MS Dhoni forming the top 6 forming a more solid batting order.

If fit Dwayne Bravo can come in at number 7 following by Jadeja at 8 and Sam Curran at 9. Sam Curran can be a floater as he has been at the start of the tournament for CSK. Deepak Chahar and Piyush Chawla would be taking up the remaining spots. This would give CSK great balance with three all-rounders and two genuine bowlers in the line up. Dwayne Bravo’s selection though might not be straight forward though. There is very good chance that Josh Hazlewood or Imran Tahir might make the XI. Based on who is selected one of Piyush Chawla and Shardul Thakur also might make the XI

There are a few selection headaches for the CSK management when they sit down to select the playing XI for tonight. With losses in the last couple of games CSK need a quick turnaround and another loss would set their campaign way back. There are lots of issues with the CSK squad this season and they do not have too many options to replace the injured players. They would need to be creative with their options would need to make most of the players they have.

My CSK XI:

Shane Watson, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ambati Rayudu, Faf Du Plessis, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (Capt & WK), Dwayne Bravo/Josh Hazlewood, Sam Curran, Ravindra Jadeja, Piyush Chawla, Deepak Chahar

When Suresh Raina decided to leave at the start of this season everyone expected CSK’s gameplan to take a hit. They were carrying two out of form openers and a bunch of rusty middle order bats. Raina who adds a great dimension to the CSK batting order has left a huge hole which I don’t think the team management were prepared for.

For some weird reason in the last years auction CSK went after bowlers but did not invest much on the batting front. The opening combination especially is pretty dicey for CSK. Murali Vijay who was once an explosive and consistent opener for CSK is just a shadow of the batsman he once was. His confidence seems to be non existent and that showed even during his fielding in the first game against Mumbai Indians. Shane Watson who was CSK’s star in their win in 2018 hasn’t been playing competitive cricket for a while now and that has shown in his form over the last couple of seasons.

This puts enormous pressure on Ambati Rayudu and Faf Du Plessis as the starts haven’t been what they would need for a T20 game. When Rayudu missed the game against RR due to injury CSK’s batting woes came into view for everyone to see. Ruturaj Gaikwad got a chance but we cannot be hard on the youngster after just one game. CSK would need to think about Murali Vijay’s role in the team. He has been poor in the field and has struggled to get going with the bat which means they would have to take a quick call once Rayudu comes back.

The problem for the men in yellow is that they do not have too many options in the squad. This leaves pretty less room for experimentation for the team management. The lack of batting options mean that CSK need to try and promote Ruturaj Gaikwad to open the batting alongside Shane Watson. This would also mean that Rayudu and Faf can play in their respective positions. Kedar Jadhav and MS Dhoni need to improve fast and soon in the middle order and they need to hope that Sam Curran continues to be excellent like he has been so far for the franchise.

The other major change CSK will be looking at is replacing Lungi Ngidi. The big South African made a great comeback in the first game but hasn’t been consistent enough. Josh Hazlewood can be given a chance in the upcoming games or even Shardul Thakur can get a look in which can allow CSK to play Dwayne Bravo or Imran Tahir based on the wicket for the upcoming games. Lots of things for the Stephen Fleming and co to think about ahead of their next game. The lack of batting options is something which might come back to bite them later in the season. For now moving around a few players is all they can do hoping that will be enough to get through this season.

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are one of the best teams in the history of IPL. They are the only team who have reached the play-offs in every IPL they have been part of. They have won the title 3 times and are always one of the favourites going into an IPL season. The biggest constant for the franchise has been their two legends in batting, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni. Suresh Raina at number 3 has been a regular for CSK and him pulling out leaves a huge hole in the top order.

Raina also is an IPL legend with 5368 runs in the tournament in 193 games. In the absence of the southpaw, CSK will be forced to reshuffle their batting order. While Shane Watson is a fix at the top, the opening role might go to Murali Vijay who has been struggling in this format over the past few seasons. Ruturaj Gaikwad is another option CSK might mull over considering his T20 record at the domestic level. In the absence of Raina, Ambati Rayudu is most likely to take over the number 3 spot.

The number 4 spot will most likely go to the Faf Du Plessis to spruce up the top order in the absence of Suresh Raina. This would mean that there will be space for only two more foreign players in the X1. Kedar Jadhav at 5 and MS Dhoni at 6 will complete the top 6 of CSK.

Dwayne Bravo will mostly grab the pace bowling all-rounder spot followed by Ravindra Jadeja as the lead spinner. Here is where things get exciting for CSK. For the first time they have a good group of fast bowlers especially the international group with Josh Hazlewood, Lungi Ngidi and Sam Curran. Hazlewood and Curran are coming in match fit. Both of them have been in good form for their respective sides in limited overs games. CSK though would be in dilemma as all three fast bowlers are fantastic. If the CSK camp are to be believed, Lungi Ngidi has been bowling with serious pace in the practice games. Sam Curran on the other hand gives CSK with lower order batting along with his left arm swing. Josh Hazlewood gives them with control with the new ball.

This for sure will be a hard choice as there is space for only one foreign pace bowler in the X1. Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar will also be in the mix as one of them has to play in the X1. The other selection trouble for CSK is the spin bowling department. They have Imran Tahir in the squad as well but again Piyush Chawla who was snapped up for a fortune in the auction last year will take the second spinner spot in the X1. Only one of Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur will find space in the X1.

The pace bowling combination is something which CSK will have a lot to think about. To decide between 3 world class bowlers will not be easy at all considering they might be able to play only one of them at most times.

CSK have a great squad this time with the right amount of experience and talent. The biggest challenge for them this season would be to get the right combination on the field. The team management will have lots of thinking to do ahead of their clash against last years champions Mumbai Indians in the first game of the season. It will be interesting to see what Stephen Fleming and MS Dhoni have in mind regarding the team combination.

My CSK XI for the first game:

Murali Vijay, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Faf Du Plessis, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (WK & Capt), Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Piyush Chawla, Lungi Ngidi, Deepak Chahar


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