What should be the playing 11 of Chennai in IPL 2019?

Chennai Superkings (Strongest XI)

After missing the IPL for 2 consecutive years, Chennai Super Kings made a fairytale comeback last year. Trolled for fielding old age players, Chenna ended up winning the title and proving everyone wrong. Rightly so, they retained most of their IPL squad from last year and added only Mohit Sharma and Rituraj Gaikwad.

Let’s take a look at the 2 strongest combinations of Chennai Super Kings in South African and Indian conditions

1. Batsmen

1.1 Top Order (Number 1, 2 and 3) - South Africa - Faf Du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina

India - Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina

Faf Du Plessis and Ambati Rayudu will open the innings for CSK in South African conditions. Dhoni’s decision to promote Ambati Rayudu to the top worked wonders as he hit 602 runs in 16 matches in IPL 2018.

Faf Du Plessis spent most of the last season on the bench but in home conditions, he will be a regular starter.

Shane Watson will keep Faf Du Plessis on his toes and challenge him regularly for the opening slot.

For the Indian leg, Faf will leave the tournament as he has a deadline and Shane Watson comes in to replace him.

The position of No. 3 - Suresh Raina has been named Mr. IPL as on more than 9 occasions, the left-hander has hit 350+ runs in the campaign. Chennai showed their trust in him for this year. All-time leading run scorer of IPL is a perfect choice at No. 3.

2. Middle Order (Number 4, 5 and 6) - CSK’s middle order in South African conditions is MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, and Dwayne Bravo. Dhoni promoted himself to No. 4 in 2018 and returned with 455 runs in 16 matches. He will continue at the same position this year

Kedar Jadhav played only 1 match last year and won it playing with a torn hamstring. He makes it to the starting XI

Dwayne Bravo is a proven matchwinner for the CSK in Indian and South African conditions. His death bowling and power hitting makes him the no. 1 choice for a necessary pace allrounder spot. In IPL 2018, he picked up 14 wickets in 16 matches.

When IPL returns to India, Mitchell Santner could replace Dwayne Bravo on spin tracks. The New Zealander was injured for the entire 2018 season.

Sam Billings will come in at No. 4 in India, pushing Dhoni, Jadeja and Bravo one step down.

In Indian Conditions (4,5,6) - Sam Billings, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav

3. Lower Order (Number 7, 8 and 9) - Ravindra Jadeja is at No. 7. A perfect T20 player. His all-round bowling, batting, and fielding get him to be picked in any world-class T20 side. Jadeja will be given the responsibility to finish matches off if the above batsmen collapse.

Deepak Chahar comes in at No. 8. CSK’s crucial weapon in 2018 was the new ball bowling by Deepak Chahar which got him 10 wickets in 12 matches. Dhoni utilized all his 4 overs with the new ball. He comes in at No. 8 with the batting he skills he showed last year.

Mohit Sharma joins the squad after a year with Kings XI Punjab. CSK bought him for 5 crores in the auction and he will bowl effectively in the death overs.

In Indian conditions, Harbhajan Singh joins the squad to send Mohit Sharma to No. 10

In Indian Conditions(7,8,9) - Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh

4. Bowlers (No. 10 and No. 11) - For the South African leg, CSK has got Lungi Ngidi and Imran Tahir.

In home conditions, Ngidi and Tahir are one step ahead of the other members in the squad. Tahir has a phenomenal 62 wickets in 37 T20Is and Ngidi will form a new ball partnership with Deepak Chahar.

In Indian Conditions(10,11) - Mohit Sharma, Deepak Chahar

Backup Pacers - Shardul Thakur is an excellent T20 bowler but misses out after being expensive last year. Monu Kumar comes in with 15 wickets in 13 T20s he has played. It will be interesting to see him get a place in the CSK squad.

Important Notes -

1) CSK have got a very balanced squad with players catering to every situation and opposition

2) Dhoni will come up with new combinations and strategies in this IPL because he is Dhoni and nobody could predict his decisions.

CHENNAI SUPER KINGS BEST XI - SOUTH AFRICAN LEG

Faf du Plessis ✈️
Ambati Rayudu
Suresh Raina
MS Dhoni (C, WK)
Kedhar Jadhav
Dwayne Bravo ✈️
Ravindra Jadeja
Mohit Sharma
Deepak Chahar
Lungi Ngidi ✈️
Imran Tahir ✈️

CHENNAI SUPER KINGS BEST XI - INDIAN LEG

Shane Watson ✈️
Ambati Rayudu
Suresh Raina
Sam Billings ✈️
MS Dhoni (C, WK)
Kedhar Jadhav
Dwayne Bravo ✈️
Ravindra Jadeja
Harbhajan Singh
Mohit Sharma
Deepak Chahar