Chennai Super Kings - Four time champions, Chennai Super Kings are the only unicorn franchise in the history of the Indian T20 League and the fandom that it has makes it one of the most followed sporting teams in the world. With godlike status, the Chennai players like MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja are worshiped by their fans. Given that it might be the last season for MS Dhoni, the Chennai players will go all out to ensure that they give a fitting farewell to their revered leader in the form of a victory in the 16th season of Indian T20 League.
CSK Players who could be game changers in the 16th season of the India T20 League
A leader who needs no introduction, Thala Dhoni will be playing his last Indian T20 League season and could become the first player in Indian T20 League history to play 250 games. Dhoni is currently at 234 matches and will be playing 14 matches in the league stage and if CSK goes through to the playoffs, MS Dhoni could be playing his 250th match in the eliminator or in the final. MS Dhoni is also expected to come up in the batting line up and may bat as early as number 3. MSD is just 22 runs away from 5000 Indian T20 League runs making him only the 6th batter to achieve the milestone. Exciting times ahead for MSDians.
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Undoubtedly one of the best All Rounders of the current generation, Ravindra Jadeja is a force to be reckoned with. Be it with the bat, ball or in the field, Sir Jadeja is a livewire and given the controversy around his captaincy debut in the last season, Ravindra Jadeja would be firing on all cylinders and would go the extra mile for the loyal CSK fans. Ravindra Jadeja is only 18 wickets away from 150 Indian T20 League Wickets and currently at number 11 in terms of all time wicket takers in the Indian T20 League.
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CSK’s star with the ball and MSD’s go to man in the powerplay, Deepak Chahar will be the key to Chennai’s success right from the word go. A fit and raring to go pacer,Chahar would also bank on his Indian T20 League performance to put forward his candidature for the upcoming Cricket World Cup. Deepak Chahar has also showcased his antics with the bat in the last few years and would contribute to the team cause in both the departments.
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Ruturaj Gaikwad is one opener in the Indian T20 League that goes all guns blazing from the first ball of the match. Ruturaj had a brilliant 2021 season and was subsequently retained by CSK in the 2022 season. Although the last season did not go as per the expectations for Ruturaj, he has had a wonderful season in the domestic circuit. All eyes will be on Ruturaj to get CSK off to a great start in the powerplay and in the tournament.
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Currently at number 8 in the list of All Rounder in T20 internationals and fresh off a World Cup victory, Moeen Ali could be CSK’s trump card in the current season. With the home and away format re-introduced in the Indian T20 League, Moeen Ali might make full use of the Chepauk pitch that is known to assist spin. Moeen Ali could bat as high as number 3 and could also open the bowling for CSK in the 16th season.
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One of the most intelligent spinners of the current crop, Mitchell Santner is a match winner in his own right. He is known to add a lot of power to the bowling side he plays for and his prowess with the bat is not hidden from his fans. With Chepauk assisting spin, the deadly trio of Santner, Moeen Ali and Jadeja could run through any batting line up in the 16th season.
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Devon Conway had a great debut season in the 2022 Indian T20 League with CSK where he scored 252 runs in 7 matches at an average of 42. Conway got CSK to great starts with his attacking skills at the top of the order where he scored at a strike rate of 145. He is also a good wicket keeper and that could help his side in case of any injury in the season. CSK would rely heavily on the attacking instincts of Conway and would expect him to fire at the top along with Ruturaj.
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Maheesh Theekshana had a great debut season for CSK in last year’s Indian T20 League where he played 9 matches and picked up 12 wickets at an average of 21.75. His economy rate of 7.46 was one of the best in the tournament for anyone picking more than 10 wickets in the last season. Theekshana could be a contender for the purple cap and could be the mystery spinner that CSK are seeking for a few seasons.
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