After a tough 2020, CSK eyes redemption in IPL 2021

The 14th edition of the IPL could prove crucial for CSK, a franchise with past conquests that would be seeking to rediscover its feet. 

CSK, seeking to rebuild, could “off-load” several aging cricketers. (File Photo)   -  SPORTZPICS/ISL

The edition gone by was a forgettable one for Chennai Super Kings. Yet, by the time the competition in the UAE ended, the popular franchise could see a silver lining. 

The youngsters showed promise; cricketers such as Ruturaj Gaikwad, a top-order batsman with fluency.

The 14th edition of the IPL could prove crucial for CSK, a franchise with past conquests that would be seeking to rediscover its feet.

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First, CSK has to submit to the IPL governing body, the list of players it wants to retain by January 20. The franchise is looking at some tough calls.

Looking back, CSK did wonderfully well with a bunch of ageing players in IPL-11 and 12, winning in its comeback year and going down in a pulsating final the next.

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“Dad’s Army,” it was affectionately called by many. These cricketers were seen to be bucking the odds.

Yet, advancing years did reveal itself in IPL-13, when CSK surely was not the fittest side in the park. 

And to complicate matters, CSK’s most prolific batsman, Suresh Raina, left the tournament before it got underway for personal reasons.

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At first the indications were that the franchise was not happy with Raina’s act. However, now, it has been reliably learnt that the dynamic southpaw has been “forgiven.”

If there was one cricketer whom the franchise sorely missed in the UAE, it was Raina and his influential batting at No. 3. 

The upcoming auction will be a smaller one with a limited number of players in the pool; the auction next year will be a full-fledged affair with two new franchises coming in.

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This time the auction will include the players released by the franchises and the new cricketers coming in.

CSK, seeking to rebuild, could “off-load” several aging cricketers, such as Imran Tahir, a worthy competitor but not becoming any younger. 

Shane Watson has already quit all forms of the game.

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CSK’s picks will also reflect where the IPL will be held, in India or the UAE which has emerged the favourite for logistical reasons. Different conditions demand different players.  

This much is certain. CSK will wear a much younger look in IPL-14. The final call will rest with M.S. Dhoni.