Even though Chennai Super Kings finished at the 9th position in the IPL 2022, they have not made a complete overhaul and have stuck with most of their players.
From the squad of last season, Robin Uthappa has retired, and Dwayne Bravo was released who has also now retired from the IPL and joined the franchise as a bowling coach. Other than Uthappa and Bravo, CSK has only released 6 others players and retained the rest 18 from their squad of last season.
The MS Dhoni and Stephen Fleming-led franchise have also parted ways with foreign pacers Adam Milne, Chris Jordan, and young Indian batter Narayan Jagadeesan, who recently hammered big runs in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Players released by CSK: Dwayne Bravo, Adam Milne, Chris Jordan, Robin Uthappa (retired), Narayan Jagadeesan, KM Asif, Hari Nishaanth, Bhagath Varma
They will be on the hunt for a couple of quality middle-order batters and overseas fast bowlers in particular in the upcoming IPL 2023 mini-auction.
Here is the best XI of CSK from the retained players:
Openers: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway
The IPL 2021 Orange Cap holder, Gaikwad had a patchy IPL 2022. After having a terrible start to his campaign with single-digit scores, Gaikwad got back some of his mojos and ended the tournament with 368 runs – far from his 600+ run the previous season – at an average of 29.
Conway, though, playing his first season for CSK hit the ground running and ended with 252 runs in 7 matches at an average of 42 and strike rate of 145 with 3 fifties.
Middle-order: Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu, Shivam Dube, MS Dhoni
Moeen Ali will remain CSK’s number 3, required to play the role of an aggressor, however, the left-hander had an under-par season in 2022, scoring 244 runs at a strike rate of 137, but did well to take 8 wickets. Rayudu, who even announced retirement mid-season and retracted it, managed 274 runs at a strike rate of 122.
Dube was CSK’s positive from last season: 289 runs at a strike rate of 156 and is emerging as a trustable lower-order batsman.
MS Dhoni will likely play his last IPL season. The 41-year-old is expected to bat lower down the order only most of the times, but his wicket-keeping and captaincy have made difference for the franchise.
All-rounder: Ravindra Jadeja, Dwaine Pretorius
Jadeja had a terrible IPL 2022 – apart from being sacked mid-season as CSK’s captain, the all-rounder scored only 116 runs at a strike rate of 118 and picked 5 wickets before being ruled out due to rib injury. He had even been unhappy with CSK and contemplated leaving the franchise, but MS Dhoni’s intervention helped resolve the issue and the all-rounder will stay with CSK.
Pretorius has been excellent for South Africa as a T20 bowler but picked 6 wickets in 6 matches for CSK. In the absence of Bravo now, Pretorius will be Dhoni’s go-to bowler in the death overs.
Bowlers: Deepak Chahar, Mukesh Chowdhary, Maheesh Theekshana
Deepak Chahar’s return from injury is a major boost for CSK and he will partner Mukesh Chowdhary with the new ball. Chowdhary, after a couple of ordinary games, was sensational with the ball and finished with 16 wickets last season. Simarjeet Singh also showed some of his skills in the last couple of games for CSK.
Theekshana did what Theekshana does – take wickets in the powerplay. The Sri Lankan spinner snapped up 12 wickets in the season.
CSK’s best XI from retained players: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway, Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni(c,wk), Dwaine Pretorius, Deepak Chahar, Mukesh Chowdhary, Maheesh Theekshana
CSK retained squad: MS Dhoni (c), Moeen Ali, Deepak Chahar, Mukesh Chowdhary, Devon Conway, Tushar Deshpande, Shivam Dube, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Ravindra Jadeja, Matheesha Pathirana, Dwaine Pretorius, Ambati Rayudu, Mitchell Santner, Subhranshu Senapati, Simarjeet Singh, Prashant Solanki, Maheesh Theekshana
CSK also have retained Sri Lankan slingy-arm action pacer Matheesha Pathirana and New Zealand spinner Santner. Rajvardhan Hangargekar would hope for his CSK debut next season.