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Indian Premier League 2020

From Curran to Jadeja – Five players Chennai Super Kings should have at the centre of their rebuild

by Sankalp Srivastava 5-minute read

Chennai Super Kings are in the need of a major overhaul – their first-ever elimination from the IPL league stage has further amplified the need for it. While they need to start afresh, they do have a few players in their side who can be at the centre of their much-needed revamp.

Ruturaj Gaikwad

His returns from his first three IPL 2020 appearances read 0, 5 & 0. The second duck came after almost a month’s wait, during which he saw the franchise’s campaign derail and captain MS Dhoni question the ‘spark’ in the side’s youngsters. Yet, Gaikwad did well to recover from the early setback, scoring consecutive half-centuries in three back-to-back wins for CSK and showing how far a little backing from the team can take a youngster.

The 23-year-old has to be among the players that CSK will build a team with, as the calmness he exudes while building an innings could be of great asset to the Chennai-based franchise in the long run.

Sam Curran

Curran has been the player of the season for CSK, and it’s not even a close call. The England all-rounder has taken 13 wickets and scored 186 runs, often emerging as the lone warrior in hapless situations. The 22-year-old has shown that he is ready to adjust according to the team’s needs, batting everywhere from the top of the order to number seven while also making crucial breakthroughs with the ball.

His fighting 47-ball-52 against Mumbai Indians after walking in with half the CSK batsmen back in the hut with only 23 runs on the board highlighted the quality and winning mentality that he brings to the table. A must-have, if CSK wish to recreate their heydays.

Deepak Chahar

The right-arm quick has been silently going about his work for CSK ever since he was bought by them in the 2018 auction. Ten wickets in his first season were followed by 22 in 2019 when he finished as the third-highest wicket-taker and has taken another 12 this season.

Dhoni has predominantly used him as the new ball bowler, allowing him to maximise the natural swing that he gets. He generally bowls three of his four overs in the powerplay before returning to complete his spell at the death, which makes his overall IPL economy of 7.61 all the more impressive. At 28 years of age, he still has another three to four good seasons left in him, at least.

Lungi Ngidi

CSK’s title-winning team of 2010 and 2011 had Doug Bollinger play a crucial role, taking 12 and 17 wickets respectively in the two seasons. And Ngidi could play that role in the long run, especially with age on his side.

In 2018, when CSK won the title upon their return from a two-year hiatus, Ngidi took 11 wickets in seven matches at 14.18 and an economy of exactly run-a-ball. Though he missed out the 2019 season due to injury, CSK should have provided 24-year-old with a longer rope this time around.

But, he was dropped after the first two matches of the season (he took four wickets but conceded a combined 94 runs) and only returned to the XI after over a month, when all was already lost. Ngidi eventually finished the season with nine wickets in four matches.

Ravindra Jadeja

Jadeja has been with the franchise since 2012 and has always been one of the most important players in their side. He is well versed with the CSK team culture, is a fan favourite and one of the more experienced Indian cricketers in the IPL.

At 31 years of age, Jadeja, if retained by the side for the long run, will be one of the senior figures in the side, possibly playing a leadership role while making major contributions in all three departments. There is little doubt about his prowess with the ball and he has worked on his consistency with the bat in the past year or two, as we have seen this season, which bodes well for CSK.

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