The Indian Premier League is back again with its twelfth edition and it promises to be bigger than last time. Defending champions Chennai Super Kings would be hoping to retain their title this season.
The MS Dhoni-led team has retained the core group of players from last season and have added their old player Mohit Sharma to the already strong sqauad. Mark Wood is the only capped player to be released by the Chennai-based franchise.
The Australian all-rounder opened the batting alongside Ambati Rayadu last season. Watson would be looking to repeat his performances from last season when he scored 555 runs in just 15 matches and took 6 wickets as well.
Rayadu was the leading run-scorer for the eventual champions last season as he scored 602 runs in 16 matches. CSK would be hoping that their opening partnership is a big hit this season as well.
Raina has been an everpresent in the Chennai Super Kings squad since the first season. 445 runs in 15 matches from the No.3 last season made CSK’ top order the most formidable in the whole league.
Faf du Plessis*
Faf du Plesis has enjoyed a tough year in international cricket since the end of season 11 of the IPL and would be hoping for a turnaround in his fortunes. Sam Billings of England is a good back-up option in case du Plesis fails to fire in this season as well.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the skipper, wicket-keeper, finisher and the main lynch-pin of this CSK side. 455 runs in 16 matches spelled a good season for Dhoni in 2018 and he would be hoping for a repeat in this season of the IPL.
The 33-year old from Pune has established himself as a mainstay in the Indian team and would be looking to cement his place in the CSK squad as well. While Jadhav is known for his slogging abilities, he can take some wickets as well with his ‘golden arm’.
Two-time purple cap winner, Dwayne Bravo is an automatic selection in this team with his all-round abilities allowing him to finish some matches with his bat as well. David Willey is a good back-up option in case Bravo is not available to play.
Another all-rounder in the squad, Jadeja picks himself being the best fielder in the side. The 30-year old can bowl out his quota of 4 overs and contribute with the bat as well.
Karn Sharma/Harbhajhan Singh
It’s unlikely that MS Dhoni will play the both the Indian spinners with Jadeja and Jadhav already in the starting XI. While Harbhajan brings lot of experience and economical bowling, Karn Sharma has an element of mystery to his leg break bowling.
Shardul Thakur/Mohit Sharma
While Thakur was the highest wicket-taker for the Chennai side last season with 16 wickets in 13 matches, Sharma is a trustee of the captain who likes to pick experienced players in the side.
Imran Tahir/Lungi Ngidi*
Lungi Ngidi had a good run-out last season when he took 11 wickets in 7 matches for the CSK side. Imran Tahir is a proven player in the shorter format of the game but his below-par fielding counts against his chances of selection in this team.
* represents an overseas player