Chennai Super Kings are in shambles at the moment. Nothing much is going their way at present as they have started their campaign in IPL 2020 with two losses in three games. While losses are definitely part and parcel of the game and one can always back a side like CSK to bounce back but it is the manner of the losses that must have been giving the team-management sleepless nights.
They are still searching for their best eleven and their failure to assess the conditions well have further added to their woes. Over the years, CSK have made a reputation of being the team which rarely tinkers with the playing eleven and assesses the conditions well.
However, their reputation has taken a beating in IPL 2020 so far. Following the loss to Delhi Capitals, their head coach Stephen Fleming also admitted that the team failed to come up with the right strategy that suited them. So as CSK struggle to get the right playing eleven, we have compiled a playing eleven that just might do the trick for the three-time champions:
For the opening slots, the Chennai-based outfit should drop out-of-form Murali Vijay immediately and promote Sam Curran at the top. With the experienced Shane Watson on the other end, Curran can wreak havoc on the opposition. The England youngster has all the shots in his book and is comfortable against both spin and pace.
In the powerplay, he can give CSK the starts they are craving for which might make things easier for the middle-order batsmen who can then some time to settle down before going for the big shots. He can give CSK the same starts that Sunil Narine has been giving to KKR in recent years.
Number three, four and five:
At number three, Faf du Plessis looks like a perfect fit in the absence of Suresh Raina. In the three games so far, his scores are 58*, 72 and 43. At number four, Ambati Rayudu is the best bet. It was just unfortunate that he had to miss the last two games after his match-winning fifty against Mumbai Indians.
At number five, CSK will have to ensure that MS Dhoni bats at that position. Dhoni coming out to bat at that crucial position can completely change the complexion of the batting lineup. It will also give the veteran some time to settle down before he goes for the big shots.
With the batting struggling, CSK need to find room for one of their senior most players Dwayne Bravo who could hit those big shots towards the end. Bravo is yet to play a game in IPL 2020 so far because of a niggle early on and then Curran’s form. Ravindra Jadeja is a guaranteed name in the playing eleven.
In the bowling lineup, the three-time winners need to include the experienced Imran Tahir especially in these spin-friendly conditions. He can keep the opposition under check which might help the likes of Piyush Chawla and Ravindra Jadeja to get wickets.
In order to include both Bravo and Curran in the playing eleven along with Watson and Tahir, CSK will have to play an all-India pace attack. And they do have that luxury. In Deepak Chahar, they have one of India’s best T20 bowlers while Shardul Thakur has ample experience too. Not to forget, Bravo is a valuable bowling option too.
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