Chennai Super Kings will kickstart IPL 2021 on 10th April with the game against last year’s finalists, Delhi Capitals, at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. After a disappointing season in the UAE, the men in yellow will want to make amends in the forthcoming campaign. In this article, we will be predicting the four overseas players for CSK in the opening fixture.
It was a difficult task to freeze on an overseas combination for CSK last season. While Shane Watson was not in form, the UAE pitches did not allow MS Dhoni and co. to consistently field four firing foreigners in every game. However, after a decent auction, the management has better options to use at IPL 2021. For the particular encounter against the Capitals, here is us predicting the likely foreign cricketers.
1. Faf du Plessis
A lot will ride of Faf du Plessis’ form next season. The South African batsman was at the top of his game in IPL 2020, and CSK will be hopeful of a similar show in the forthcoming edition.
Hence, it is inevitable that Faf plays the first game. If CSK has to go a long way in the tournament, the right-hander must definitely be amongst the highest run-scorers by the end of the campaign. Also, the management has not purchased any backups for him, which suggest that the former South African skipper will play all 14 games.
2. Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali was one of the major investments at the IPL 2021 Auctions. CSK lacked a real aggressor in the middle order last season, and Moeen would now fill that gap. Having released Harbhajan Singh, the team also needs a right-arm off-spinner. The Englishman would yet again be the main man here.
As for Delhi Capitals is concerned, Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant are sure to be in the XI. With Shreyas Iyer ruled out and Rahane likely to fill in, Steve Smith may not play, and hence, Shimron Hetmyer will get his game-time. That is three left-handers, and Moeen’s off-spin would be valuable in the game.
3. Sam Curran
With Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar in the frame, CSK needs to play just one foreign pacer. In between Dwayne Bravo and Sam Curran, they could lean towards the latter. This decision could be purely based on match-ready fitness. While Sam has played a few games in the last few months, Bravo is short on game-time.
Moreover, a left-arm seamer in the XI would add more variety to the unit. Sam is also a better batsman than Bravo, at the moment. He could be used as a floater and will help the batsmen above him play more freely. On the Wankhede pitch, Sam’s batting could be invaluable. Therefore, he could be the third foreign pick.
4. Imran Tahir
It will be a hard task when predicting the fourth overseas player for CSK. However, at least for the first game, the three-time champions could throw Imran Tahir into the mix. He had very little game-time in 2020, but that could change in the upcoming season.
Ravindra Jadeja will be coming off an injury and may find it hard to lead the spin-attack. Moreover, a leg-spinner in a T20 XI is a must these days. For both these reasons, the veteran spinner from South Africa might get MSD’s nod. Delhi Capitals is a youthful team and an experienced option against them will be a wise idea to get the wickets.