CSK Probable Playing XI
The veteran, since signing for CSK has been inconsistent by his own lofty standards but has strong backing from the CSK management. Watson repaid the faith with his match-winning hundred in the 2018 final and then the fighting knock in the narrow loss in the 2019 final. With IPL in UAE this year CSK will once again bank on Watson given his wealth of experience playing PSL in UAE for Quetta Gladiators.
Faf du Plessis
The former Proteas skipper has been an integral part of CSK since 2012. Unlike in international cricket, Faf opens the innings for CSK and has found considerable success at the top. Moreover, Faf’s ability to handle spin well makes him a strong candidate to open the innings.
With Raina missing Rayudu will most likely take the no 3 spot. The 35-year-old is capable of mixing caution with aggression which will serve him well for the no 3 role. However, Rayudu struggled last year managing 282 runs at an average of 23.50, his strike rate of 93.07 was his worst in any IPL season. CSK will hope Rayudu fares better in IPL 2020.
Kedar Jadhav struggled in the 2019 IPL where he managed to score just 162 runs at an average of 18.00 and a poor strike rate of 95.85. Jadhav certainly needs to up especially wth Raina absent for personal reasons. His huge experience and ability to chip in with a few useful overs means he will start the season.
The skipper of the yellow brigade almost single-handedly took his side to the final with his bat. He was not only the best batsman for them last season, but also the lone fighter on most occasions. The over reliance on Dhoni because of the under-performing middle order cost CSK a few games including the finals. The CSK management will once again be looking up to the skipper to carry on his terrific form from last season.
Another player who has been a key cog of the CSK machine since 2012. His all-round ability means he is a match winner for CSK. His recent improvements in batting, especially in the power hitting department means the Saurashtra native will play at number 6 this season.
Dwayne Bravo/ Sam Curran
Dwayne Bravo has been one of the faces of CSK for quite a long time now. However, his death bowling prowess as well as his batting has taken a downward slide since a couple of years. Due to injury Bravo didn’t bowl in the recently concluded CPL. Hence it remains to be seen whether Bravo will be fit enough to bowl. If he is not fit CSK might bring in Sam Curran to replace him.
Deepak Chahar has been the most consistent bowler for CSK over the past couple of years. The 2018 season saw Dhoni bowling Chahar only in the power plays, but the need for Chahar to show his death bowling prowess emerged in the 2019 season when Bravo got injured. Chahar is now a complete package with the ball, suited to bowl at any stage of the game equally well.
Shardul Thakur struggled last season managing just 8 wickets at an average of 35.13. Moreover, the Mumbai pacer was also expensive conceding at an economy of 9.37. With CSK lacking domestic pacers Shardul will once again start for the “Yellow Army”.
The 40-year-old youngster has been a key part of CSK set up in the last 2 years. The leg spinner has been Dhoni’s go to guy picking wickets when needed. With UAE pitches expected to spin, Tahir is once again expected to play a key role.
Lungi Ngidi was the find of the season for CSK in 2018, where he came in as a decent new ball bowler and ended as an all-round bowler with much improved death bowling skills. Injury forced Ngidi to miss the 2019 season and the unavailability of suitable replacements made it difficult for the team to fill the gap. The management will hope the lanky pacer remains fit for the whole season. There might be a tossup between Ngidi and Hazlewood in CSK Predicted playing XI and the team would like to rotate the two pacers to manage the workload.