Millennium Post

Formidable Chennai Super Kings team to beat

Formidable Chennai Super Kings team to beat
Chennai Super Kings (CSK), the most consistent performers in the Indian Premier League (IPL) boasting in seven seasons an enviable record of being champions twice, runners-up thrice and fourth twice, yet again appear to be the team to watch and beat in the April 8-May 24 tournament. Led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni and guided by coach Stephen Fleming, the former New Zealand captain, CSK have evolved into a close-knit unit with a nucleus of players who have been together for most of the seven seasons.

So notable is its record that the team has provided a lesson in team building while reposing unswerving faith in its players, irrespective of their form. For the 2015 season, the team is brimming with experience and talent, a sure recipe for success. At first glance, the Super Kings appear batting heavy with two strong hitters in West Indian Dwayne Smith and New Zealander Brendon McCullum who recently led the Black Caps to the World Cup final.

They are backed by the likes of all-rounders Francois du Plessis (South Africa) and Dwayne Bravo (West Indies) besides India’s very own Dhoni and Suresh Raina while Australian veteran Michael Hussey returns after spending a disappointing 2014 season with Mumbai Indians. Yet, Dhoni will be spoilt for choice in the bowling department which has a good spread of pace and spin.

Indian Pacer Mohit Sharma, who has improved tremendously in the past few months as a new ball bowler, and teammate offie Ravichandran Ashwin are likely to be the spearheads in attack. Some clever spending in January’s auction has provided the team with enough bench strength should any of the West Indian or New Zealand players be unavailable due to their national commitments. A clutch of home-grown talent should also provide adequate cover for frontline players in case of injuries.

Hussey and former India seamer Irfan Pathan were the most expensive buys by CSK at Rs 1.5 crore apiece as the team released just four players for the auction while retaining the rest. If anything, there will be stiff competition for the fringe spots in the playing eleven given the fact that Dhoni, Raina, Ashwin and Mohit are likely to be regulars apart from four foreigners, leaving just three berths up for grabs.
IANS

IANS

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