For years now, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have had a set template. They go in with a relatively similar side season after season and pave their way to the win. There are a few players here and there that get chopped and changed but CSK largely retain the same side.
This year, it’s no different for the ‘Yellow’ giants. They’ve released just six players and now have five slots available (Scott Kuggeleijn was an injury-replacement for David Willey and both of them have been released). The core of the side has been retained and there isn’t much shopping to do for Chennai Super Kings in the auction.
However, there is always something that is missing that needs to be filled up in the Auction. Chennai have INR 14.560 crore in their purse which is the second-least going into the auction. But they are going to buy a few players and plug in a few holes.
Thus, here are five players CSK can target in the upcoming auction:
If there is one department that Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have lacked over the last couple of years, then it is the fast bowling. They have the likes of Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur and the former has done well in particular. But they don’t have the depth in either the overseas or the Indian pace attack.
Hence, it won’t be a surprise if they go after a couple of bowlers. Jaydev Unadkat could be one of them. For the last couple of seasons, Unadkat has been the most expensive Indian player and both times it was Rajasthan Royals (RR) who bought him. In 2018, he was bought for a whopping sum of INR 11.5 crore and the following year, he was paid INR 8.4 crore.
His performances haven’t been up to expectation and hence, he’s been released once again. The left-arm pacer has been in very good form in the recent past. He’s picked up 12 and 15 wickets in the Syed Mushtaq Ali and Vijay Hazare Trophy respectively and was the leader of Saurashtra’s attack. Thus, he is getting back into rhythm and may not be a bad option for CSK to target. Moreover, the surface at Chepauk will aid Unadkat’s style of bowling as well.
Tom Banton is one player who has caught everybody’s attention in the last few months. He was fabulous in the T20 Blast where he amassed 549 runs at a strike-rate of 161.47. It was his attractive and aggressive stroke-play that impressed and made him stand out .
It was not only the T20 Blast but also the other two formats where Banton scored quite a few runs this past summer. Thus, on the back of some strong performances, the 21-year-old also made his T20I debut recently and has also been included in the ODI squad for England’s tour of South Africa.
There’s absolutely no doubt he will be one of the lucrative picks in the upcoming auction. There were reports that emerged that CSK showed interest in buying Banton and it could well be that the young England wicket-keeper could don the yellow jersey in his maiden IPL season.
It’s funny how fortunes swing from season to season. Andre Tye was on an all-time high in 2018 but came crashing down in the 2019 season. The Australian quick made his IPL debut in 2017 and was impressive when he played for the Gujarat Lions, picking up 12 wickets from six games.
He was bought by Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in 2018 and was brilliant again. Tye ended up as the leading wicket-taker (24 wickets) and won the Purple Cap. However, in 2019, Tye couldn’t replicate even a small amount of success that he had in 2018. He could pick a mere three wickets from six games before he was eventually dropped.
However, the fast bowler from Western Australia did well after the IPL. He picked up 15 wickets in the T20 Blast before returning to Australia and picking up 10 wickets in the JLT One-Day Cup. Just when he looked like getting into a good rhythm, he was sidelined due to an elbow injury. However, he will be back on the field in a couple of months and will have quite a bit of time to recover before the IPL.
In fact, he could well be picked by CSK who are in search of an overseas fast bowler. Tye’s ability to bowl slower ones and use his variations can come in very handy at the Chepauk.
R Sai Kishore
In this day and age of wrist-spinners, especially in white-ball cricket, there is a finger spinner from Tamil Nadu who has been making some noise. R Sai Kishore has been a talking point for quite some time in this Indian domestic season. He has led the Tamil Nadu spin attack really well and has been outstanding.
In the Vijay Hazare Trophy, the left-arm spinner picked up 11 wickets at an average of 19.27 from seven games. He raised his game in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy as he finished the T20 tournament as the leading wicket-taker. Kishore took 20 wickets at an average of 10.40. He was striking once every 13 balls and had an economy of 4.63.
Moreover, he was born in Chennai and will know the Chepauk pitch better than most of the others. CSK have a tendency of buying some local talent as well. Hence, Sai Kishore may well be targeted by the MS Dhoni-led side.
Here is another Tamil Nadu cricketer who has been impressive. Shahrukh Khan has been around for a while now but is starting to get regular opportunities only from the last year or so. He has been very impressive in the last two seasons of the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL).
He may have not performed as well as he would’ve liked in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy this year but he was excellent in the 50-over format. In the Vijay Hazare tournament, Shahrukh made 244 runs at an average of 48.80. Moreover, he was striking at 125.77 and was Tamil Nadu’s crisis man of sorts.
Thus, Shahrukh can be an effective middle-order option. Moreover, CSK will be looking for backups as the likes of Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Shane Watson and others have been in iffy form. Thus, Shahrukh might be on their radar.
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