The Chennai Super Kings had a forgettable IPL season last year. In one of the most competitive editions of the tournament, they failed to reach the playoffs for the first time. Adding on, a series of poor performances by the key players never helped the team’s cause. Now, in the upcoming season, the fans are hoping for a better show from the men in yellow.
Last year, the first blow to the CSK camp was Suresh Raina’s decision to not participate in the 13th edition of the league. Being a key player, the team suffered as most of the batsmen lacked intent. Only a couple of players were able to perform up to the mark. One of them was Josh Hazlewood.
Josh Hazlewood was up to the mark during the previous season. With an economy rate of 6.40 and the best bowling figure of 1/19, he was one of the few economical bowlers of the CSK squad. Josh, however, has decided to skip this edition of the IPL. Well, this might open up a window of opportunity for few players.
Here is a list of five players who might replace Josh Hazelwood in the upcoming season:
5. Oshane Thomas
Oshane Thomas was a regular member of the West Indies limited-overs squad during the year 2018. He is tall and he can generate raw pace, which can unsettle any batsman. He made it to the headlines after his match-winning performance in a CPL encounter in 2017. And this paved the way for Thomas to make it to the national squad.
Thomas has been an effective bowler. In ODIs, he has picked up 27 wickets of the 20 matches he has played. In T20Is, he has picked up 18 wickets with a five-wicket haul to his name. Thomas was part of the Rajasthan Royals franchise before.
In the IPL, he has played only 4 matches. During his career, he has picked up 5 wickets with the best bowling figures of 2/6. As Josh Hazlewood has decided to skip this edition of the IPL, it will be an opportunity of a lifetime for Thomas if he gets picked.
4. Sheldon Cottrell
Sheldon Cottrell became a popular name in the world of cricket during the 2019 World Cup. The left-arm pacer has a slinging action which allows him to generate more pace. For a team that is heavily dependent on spin bowling, the inclusion of Sheldon Cottrell can boost the pace department. Maybe, he might get an opportunity to replace Josh in the CSK squad as both have the same ability to generate pace.
Sheldon has been part of 35 ODIs so far. In those 35 games, he has picked up 49 wickets with a good economy rate of 5.88. Apart from that, he has a T20I economy rate of 7.9. With 37 wickets in 30 games, he is the strike bowler of the West Indies team. Last year, he was a part of the KXIP bowling lineup that made a stellar comeback.
However, Sheldon was taken into the stands by Rahul Tewatia. In an over, he smashed him for 5 sixes, which turned the game on its head. In six IPL games, Sheldon has picked up six wickets with an economy rate of 8.8. If he gets more opportunity to play, he might perform well, and that is possible under Dhoni’s leadership.
3. Tim Southee
Tim Southee is New Zealand’s premier fast bowler who has been leading the bowling attack for over a decade. His ability to bowl those deadly outswingers can give nightmares to any batsman. For a bowler who has been in the circuit for over a decade, he deserves a place in the IPL too. Maybe, this time, we might see him returning to the CSK camp.
Southee has played 81 T20I matches so far picking up 96 wickets with an economy rate of 8.39. Well, this might look a bit expensive but because the grounds in New Zealand are smaller, Southee has done a commendable job. Apart from that, he does the work of the captain when Williamson is not around.
CSK’s pace attack lacks depth. They heavily rely on their spin and medium-pace departments to do the job for them. As Southee is a premier fast bowler, he could take the charge to provide early wickets. Adding on, he was a part of the CSK franchise during the early phase of his career. This might help him to blend well with the squad.
2. David Willey
David Willey is a left-arm pacer who is a useful batsman down the order. Willey belongs to the group of Englishmen who have revolutionized the way limited-overs cricket is played. His batting skills are strong enough to promote Willey as an opening batsman for the Chennai Super Kings. For the English team, he has been a decent performer both with the bat and the ball.
Willey had made it to the CSK squad after Mitchell Santner and Kedar Jadhav were injured. This meant that Willey was roped in by the management. But the all-rounder had a mediocre season as he picked up only two wickets and he never got a chance to bat for the team. Therefore, he was released before the 2019 auction.
But as CSK suffered heavily because of the absence of match-winners, the management might look for options to strengthen their lineup. One of the best choices available to them is David Willey. His ability to pick up wickets at regular intervals has helped captain Eoin Morgan. Therefore, the CSK management might cash in on this talented all-rounder.
1. Adil Rashid
The Chennai Super Kings are heavily dependent on their spin bowling attack. And if Josh Hazlewood has pulled out of the upcoming season, the best option available to them is Adil Rashid. The leg spinner has been in stellar form for England for the last two years. And he continues to amaze everyone by picking up wickets with beautiful deliveries.
Adil Rashid has played 57 T20I matches so far and has picked 55 wickets. He has a decent economy rate of 7.55 in T20Is. Adding on, the best bowling figures of 3/11 justifies his tag as one of the most talented spinners in the world right now. Rashid is now the premier spinner of the English team and he could have been a valuable asset for any franchise.
Apart from the T20Is, he has played in 109 ODIs. In the ODIs, he bowls at an economy rate of 5.66, which is also a stellar figure. Therefore, Rashid could be a valuable asset for the Chennai Super Kings. Also, as Dhoni is more comfortable operating with spin bowling, he seems to be the best replacement.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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