The secret of Chennai Super Kings' success over many seasons of the Indian Premier League has been due to its core team, which the franchise managed to retain successfully. Ahead of the 11th season of the glitzy league, CSK has managed to retain some of its impact players — Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis and Dwayne Bravo — in the squad.
Choosing experience over youth, the yellow brigade is a serious title contender. The batting unit has firepower with Dhoni, du Plessis, Raina, Bravo, Murali Vijay, Sam Billings and Shane Watson anchoring with the willow, while Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu and Jadeja are also capable of taking the bowlers to the cleaners in the middle and in the death overs.
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In Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir and Mitchell Santner, CSK has specialist spinners, who can be match winners on their day, with Bravo, Jadeja, Karn Sharma, Mark Wood and current South Africa sensation Lungisani Ngidi forming a formidable unit. Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur complete the bowling options for the team.
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The team also went for many uncapped players, something it had done regularly in the past. It has roped in local boy N. Jagadeesan, Dhruv Shorey, who was one of the stars in Delhi's Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy campaign and Monu Singh and Kanishk Seth, who were impressive for Jharkhand and Bengal respectively.
CSK had two good days at the auction table, buying many valued players for a good price. In the end, the team had over Rs. 6 crore left in the kitty despite picking a maximum possible of 25 players.