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Indian Premier League 2020

Wisden India readers pick one player that CSK should retain ahead of next IPL auction

by Wisden Staff 4-minute read

The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are out of contention for the IPL 2020 playoffs, making this the only season so far in which they have failed to qualify for the playoffs.

CSK’s performances in the ongoing IPL season have been disappointing, with the team’s senior players struggling to reach the levels they once did. It’s been a monumental comedown for a team that reached the finals of the tournament last year, so much that there has been plenty of calls for them to overhaul the squad.

The season hasn’t been entirely without positives, though, with a few young players impressing at various points. That in mind, we asked our readers who they would want CSK to retain ahead of the next IPL auction.

Their picks ranged from funny to intriguing, with a dash of sarcasm.

Deepak Chahar

Twelve matches in, Deepak Chahar (12) is one of only two bowlers, the other being Sam Curran, to have taken more than 10 wickets for CSK  so far this season. Chahar was also IPL’s third-highest wicket-taker in 2019 with 22 wickets. All of which made a strong case for Chahar to be  picked by our readers as the one player CSK should retain.

MS Dhoni

A bit of divisive choice, this one. There have been plenty of calls for CSK’s fading talisman to be dropped, but there were also those who wanted him retained by the franchise. In IPL 2020, the former India captain has scored just 199 runs at a strike-rate much lower than his usual standards of 118.45.

However, given how much a part of CSK he is, there are obvious benefits to having the veteran rebuild the side. For all his waning powers with the bat, he remains an extremely strategic captain and leader, and CSK will want him sticking around for a bit longer.

Ruturaj Gaikwad

A few days after Dhoni questioned the youngsters in the CSK squad, wondering aloud whether they had the “spark” needed to break into the XI, Ruturaj Gaikwad and N Jagadeesan were drafted into XI for the clash against defending champions Mumbai Indians. Both were dismissed for nought, but they were persisted with against RCB, and Gaikwad repaid the faith by scoring a half-century to help CSK to a much-needed win. He was named the Player of the Match, and did enough to prompt calls for the team to be built around him next season.

Faf du Plessis

Faf du Plessis has been, by some distance, the top run-getter for CSK this season, totalling 401. While he isn’t the type of batsman to win T20 matches single-handedly, CSK fans will be well aware of the qualities he brings to the table. Du Plessis has been electric in the field, taking 12 catches so far, the most by any outfield player this season, and has also scored big on occasions to serve a reminder of his qualities as a T20 batsman.

Sam Curran

He’s just 22, but with 173 runs with the bat, 13 wickets with the ball,  Curran has been CSK’s best player this season. Few can argue that fact. If not for the England all-rounder, CSK wouldn’t have had the little success they’ve had so far in this IPL season, and against RCB, he was instrumental in their win, taking three wickets to keep them to 145. If there was one positive to come out of this season for CSK, it was Curran.

Our readers have a sense of humour too, it emerged, with quite a few picking Kedar Jadhav and Piyush Chawla to be retained by CSK ahead of the next IPL auction.

Both players have copped a lot of flak this season for their lacklusture performances; Jadhav has scored just 62 runs in eight matches at a strike-rate of 93.93, and Chawla, bought for INR 6.75 crores in the auction, has taken six wickets at 31.83 while conceding over 9.09 per over so far.

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