IPL 2021 retention: 'Young blood', the new mantra for Chennai Super Kings

Chennai Super Kings has retained Suresh Raina among the senior players. It has released M. Vijay, Kedar Jadhav, Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla.

Twenty-three-year-old Ruturaj Gaikwad was impressive in IPL 2020.   -  BCCI/IPL

Chennai Super Kings has released six players ahead of the mini-auction to be held next month for the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League.

The released players are M. Vijay, Piyush Chawla, Monu Kumar Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Harbhajan Singh and Shane Watson, who announced his retirement after the last year’s edition.

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Despite some controversy surrounding Suresh Raina’s abrupt departure from UAE before the start of the tournament last year, which did not go well with the team management, the former India batsman has been retained.

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The team missed his services last year and would hope for stability once he returns.

The three-time champion endured its worst season in 2020 finishing joint last in the tournament played in the UAE.

Speaking about the choice of releasing the players and what they are looking for, CSK CEO K.S. Viswanathan said, “We feel we need to strengthen our batting line up and look at infusing some young blood. Another slot we will look at is an off-spinner.”

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With two leg-spinners in Karn Sharma and Imran Tahir, Chawla who was picked last year was released freeing up Rs 6.75 crores. On the other hand, Jadhav had not delivered in the last two years.

CSK will enter the auction with a purse of Rs 22.9 crores and can fill a maximum of seven slots including one foreign player but Viswanathan said they would look to fill three to four slots only as it allows the team to be aggressive in getting their first-choice players.

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