On Sunday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the schedule for IPL 2021, however, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) had already laid down their plans for the preparation of the new season, led by none other than its skipper, MS Dhoni himself.
After the arrival of the senior batsman, Ambati Rayudu, last Wednesday MS Dhoni also landed in Chennai and was in quarantine in his hotel.
With whatever players available, the CSK has decided to commence their preparatory camp after completion of the mandatory quarantine period and a negative return of their covid tests.
Along with MS Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu youngsters Ruturaj Gaikwad, N Jagadeesan, R Sai Kishore, C Hari Nishaanth, and M Harishankar Reddy began their training. Nishaanth and Reddy are the newest recruits of the franchise having been bought in the auction for their base price of 20 Rs. lakhs. Karn Sharma and another K Bhagath Varma, another recent buy, will join the camp after their participation in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
“The CSK players completed their quarantine requirements and began practice yesterday. Gradually, the others will join the camp after a period of quarantine,” CSK CEO K S Viswanathan told PTI.
CSK failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time last season
Last year, the Men In Yellow failed to qualify for the top 4 for the first time in the IPL history. The 3-time champions finished 7th on the points table; however, there were plenty of positives amongst youngsters such as Ruturaj Gaikwad and Sam Curran.
The Dhoni-led franchise offloaded the likes of Piyush Chawla, Harbhajan Singh, Kedar Jadhav, and Murali Vijay while Shane Watson retired from all forms of cricket.
They have beefed up the squad by bringing in all-rounders Moeen Ali and Krishnappa Gowtham for a big sum of INR 7 crore and INR 9.25 crore respectively. Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara makes his return to the IPL after 7 years and will play under MS Dhoni, under whom he began his international career. Suresh Raina, CSK’s all-time leading run-scorer, will be back in the team after opting out of the tournament last year.
The 3-time title winners will begin their campaign on April 10th in Mumbai against last season’s runners-up Delhi Capitals.