The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have had an ideal start to their IPL title defence as they lost the opening game of IPL 2022 to Kolkata Knight Riders. CSK’s batting looked flat against KKR’s bowlers and their bowlers too, barring Dwayne Bravo, couldn’t make a difference.
Nonetheless, CSK are known for their comebacks in the IPL. And they will be raring to make another one.
While some of their older cricketers will face fitness and form issues as the season progresses, they will need some unlikely heroes to step up.
Here are three CSK players who could be the surprise package this season:
Maheesh Theekshana is the latest mystery spinner from Sri Lanka and has already made an impact on T20 cricket. Though categorized as an off-break spinner, Theekshana has a plethora of variations. In 48 T20s, he has taken 51 wickets, his economy is an outstanding 6.04 in T20 cricket. While Theekshana may not play in many games, CSK might use him as a trump card in crucial moments.
In the squad as Dwayne Bravo’s backup, don’t be surprised if Dwaine Pretorius makes a sudden impact, whenever he gets his opportunity, and gets a permanent place in the CSK eleven.
38-year-old Bravo is expected to be rested at some point in the tournament, and that would be the cue for Pretorius, who has been excellent with the ball in particular in the past few months. The seamer was, in fact, South Africa’s join-highest wicket-taker at the T20 World Cup and has been amongst wickets during the last CSA T20 challenge.
With Deepak Chahar not fit for most of the season and Shivam Dube not yet up to the IPL level, Rajvardhan Hangargekar may get to make his IPL debut in coming games. And he’s a serious prospect for the future: a raw fast bowler, and a powerful lower-order hitter, Hangargekar has also the attributes to quickly rise in the ranks.