Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are one of the most successful teams in IPL history. The MS Dhoni led side has lifted three IPL trophies in 2010, 2011 and 2018. However, 2020 proved to be a disastrous season for Chennai as they failed to make it to the playoff stage for the first time in their history.
Going by their 2020 season, a squad revamp looked imminent for Chennai Super Kings. However, Chennai has continued the trend of retaining his core team, and has released just six players ahead of the IPL 2021 auction. Robin Uthappa was bought by CSK in an all-cash deal in the trading window.
Released: Kedar Jadhav, Harbhajan Singh, Shane Watson, Monu Singh, Piyush Chawla, Murali Vijay
Squad: MS Dhoni (c), Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, KM Asif, Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Narayan Jagadeesan, Karn Sharma, Lungi Ngidi, Mitchell Santner, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shardul Thakur, Josh Hazlewood, R Sai Kishore, Sam Curran, Robin Uthappa
Slots Remaining: 6 (1 overseas)
Chennai Super Kings will go into the auction with a healthy purse of 22.9 cr. They can buy a maximum of seven players and up to one overseas player. Here are the five players CSK can target in the auction:
Chennai Super Kings will be without the services of Shane Watson for the 2021 season after he announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. CSK also released Indian opener, Murali Vijay ahead of the IPL auction. This means that they are a bit short on their batting and would be looking forward to inject some quality and experience into their batting lineup.
Steve Smith was released by Rajasthan Royals which makes him one of the top potential buys for CSK in the auction. The franchise has enough purse remaining to outbid most of the teams for Smith, if the need arises. If Smith is picked up by CSK, it gives them plenty of options as Faf Du Plessis can open with either Rayudu or Ruturaj Gaikwad, whereas Suresh Raina can come in at number three, followed by Smith at number four.
Umesh Yadav was released by Royal Challengers Bangalore ahead of the auction. CSK have plenty of overseas fast bowling options to choose from. However, they do not have many Indian pacers to choose from. Shardul Thakur has sometimes been ineffective with the ball and has been taken for a plenty of runs. Deepak Chahar has been one of the main stays in the Chennai team for the past three years. However, Fleming will be looking forward to add options to his bowling lineup, and what better way to do it than have an experienced Indian pacer.
Dawid Malan, the English left-handed batsman will surely be under the radar of many franchises going into the auction. Malan has delivered consistent performances with the bat in the past few years and has also made himself a regular in the English T20I team, ahead of Joe Root. To top it up, he is also the top ranked ICC T20I batsman. Malan has never played IPL before. Chennai will look forward to a tough bidding war to get hold of the English batsman, who is known for his versatility as he can bat at number three, four or five.
Glenn Maxwell was released by KXIP ahead of the IPL auction and he will be one of the top names to look after in the auction. Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are expected to engage in a bidding war for the Australian all-rounder.
Also Read: IPL 2021: Robin Uthappa traded to CSK
Maxwell can solve the problem of a finisher for CSK coming in at number five or six. Chennai struggled to chase down targets last season, because of the absence of a hard-hitter who could finish off games. With Maxwell coming into the Chennai squad, MS Dhoni can play his natural game and take his time to settle in.
Alex Carey, Australian wicket-keeper was released by Delhi Capitals after having played just three games for the franchise in 2020. With MS Dhoni uncertain to play IPL after the 2021 edition, CSK will be looking forward to consider his potential replacements. After being released by DC, Carey made a statement as he smashed a 60-ball hundred against Brisbane Heat in the ongoing Big Bash League.
Chennai Super Kings are expected to bid for the Australian wicket-keeper and think long term in regards to building their squad. Carey is an exceptional player in T20 cricket coming in from the middle order. He can strike a few blows towards the tail-end of the innings.