Chennai Super Kings are the most consistent team in IPL history, finishing all seasons in the top four.
This team is considered to be the daddies XI, as most of the players are older than 30 years of age, but they have the experience and have proved their worth in the last two seasons.
This team boasts a lot of matchwinners, with the likes of MS Dhoni, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Dwayne Bravo et cetera on the list. They have received two major setbacks as Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh pulling out of the IPL 2020, the pair key members of CSK.
So with that in mind here is my ideal playing XI for CSK ahead of IPL 2020.
Watson has remained the key player for this team in the past two seasons. He had a fantastic 2018, leading the CSK to IPL victory. He had a poor start last season but regained his form in the later stages. He will be my first opener.
Rayudu is another unsung hero of this team who also had a crucial role in CSK over the past two years. He bats as an opener as well as in the middle order, which gives extra flexibility to adjust team combination. He will play as an opener in my opinion.
Faf du Plessis
He doesn’t play T20 cricket by just slogging the ball, instead playing sensibly while sticking to the basics. He usually plays slowly, but one can’t just rule out his ability to switch gears based on the situation of the match. He’s also a very important member of CSK.
MS Dhoni (captain, wicketkeeper)
MS Dhoni is the skipper, mentor and coach and means everything to CSK. I will just say that Dhoni is for CSK and CSK are for him. I want him to bat up the order this season because post-international retirement this is the only platform to watch him bat again.\
No-one can forget his spectacular cameo in the first match of IPL 2018 when he finished the game in some different style. He was then ruled out for the whole season due to hamstring injury. He came back in the 2019 season and helped the team to end the campaign as runners-up.
He is an all-rounder who can bowl decent overs and provide extra runs with his power hitting. He usually bats down the order, but Dhoni used to have him bat higher up. Besides his all-round abilities, he is a fabulous fielder who can save some crucial runs.
Bravo is the highest wicket-taker in T20 cricket at the moment, with more than 500 wickets across the globe. He is the perfect T20 bowler, usually more reliable on slower pitches, and can also bat. His trademark is the champions celebration, which he used to do some years back.
In the past few years Thakur has evolved himself into a specialist T20 bowler. He can bowl at any stage of the match, including in the middle overs and in death overs. Due to his performances in domestic cricket he has earnt the international debut and is now an important player for CSK.
At No. 9 I have got Piyush Chawla, a wrist spinner who had decent performances while playing for Kolkata Knight Riders. In the absence of Harbhajan Singh, his role will be crucial in the team.
Chahar burst onto the scene when he played for CSK in 2018. He had a decent performance that year that earnt him a maiden call-up to the national team. He will definitely be in Dhoni’s playing XI.
The most aged and experienced player in the team is Imran Tahir, who is famous for his typical running celebration. Besides conventional leg spin, he has a destructive wrong ‘un he uses as a surprise option.
This team, led by Dhoni, looks good on paper but will be tested on match day. Dhoni usually goes with six bowlers and Jadeja batting at No, 6, so I have chosen six bowlers. This is the best team considering the conditions, and they might end their campaign in the top four.