The defending champions of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will look to clinch their fifth title this time around. The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side won their fourth trophy last year after beating Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the final. At the IPL 2022 auction, the CSK did what the CSK usually do. Much to the delight of the fans, CSK has managed to get back their core players.
The team went into the IPL auction after retaining four players – Ruturaj Gaikwad, Moeen Ali, MS Dhoni, and Ravindra Jadeja. The team was able to re-sign their five former players, including Deepak Chahar, Ambati Rayudu, Robin Uthappa, Mitchell Santner, and Dwayne Bravo, but missed out on Faf du Plessis and Shardul Thakur.
Coach Stephen Fleming and Dhoni will try once more to get the best out of their players. Let’s take a look at the three key players for CSK in the 15th edition of the tournament:
1. Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad had a memorable season last year. In the IPL 2021, he was nothing short of outstanding. Gaikwad was consistent throughout the previous season, providing the team with strong starts in the first half of games. He scored 635 runs in 16 matches, with an average of 45.36 at a strike rate of 136.27. The opening batsman will look to score runs and will aim to have another successful IPL stint.
This year, however, the opening batsman might face difficulties in the absence of his opening partner, Faf du Plessis.
2. Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali’s promotion to the top of the batting order worked wonders for CSK last year. He made excellent use of the starts provided by the openers. Ali consistently delivered aggressive knocks, assisting the team in reaching big totals. He appeared in 15 games and scored 357 runs at an average of 25.50 at a strike rate of 137.30. Moeen will be an important aspect in the middle order for the Chennai-based team.
3. MS Dhoni
Always a focused and strong intended captain, as well as a dedicated wicketkeeper. The 40-year-old is a skilled thinker, which is enough to damage the opponent. Aside from four IPL titles, the CSK captain has 4746 runs at a strike rate of 135.83. The wicket-keeper batsman will try to lead the team to the fifth title.
CSK will look to put on another strong performance when their new season begins on March 26 against their last year’s opponents in the final, KKR.