In 2020, Chennai Super Kings went through a season in the Indian Premier League like never before. They did not finish last in the end, but they were the first team to bow out of the playoffs race. It was the first season in their IPL history that they were not part of the post-season.
The CSK squad was pegged back by Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh’s withdrawals from the edition, followed by a Covid-19 outbreak in the camp that affected Ruturaj Gaikwad’s early form, before paying the price for sticking with an aged group of players who struggled to dust off their rustiness.
Results in last three seasons
|Season||League stage finish||Playoff result|
|IPL 2019||2nd||Lost in final|
With Shane Watson retiring, and Kedar Jadhav enduring a poor season with the bat, and Harbhajan Singh in the twilight of his career, CSK parted ways with three fairly regular members of their squad. The squad has also brought in Robin Uthappa from Rajasthan Royals as an option at the top of the batting order.
Players released after IPL 2020: Kedar Jadhav, Murali Vijay, Harbhajan Singh, Piyush Chawla, Monu Singh, Shane Watson
Player traded in: Robin Uthappa from RR
CSK squad for IPL 2021 ahead of auction
|Suresh Raina||Deepak Chahar||MS Dhoni||Dwayne Bravo|
|Ambati Rayudu||KM Asif||N Jagadeesan||Mitchell Santner|
|Faf du Plessis||Imran Tahir||Ravindra Jadeja|
|Ruturaj Gaikwad||Karn Sharma||Sam Curran|
|Robin Uthappa||Lungi Ngidi|
|R Sai Kishore|
A glance at the squad makeup indicates that there are enough weaknesses throughout the squad if one is looking closely enough. Bravo’s best days might be behind him, so a couple of all-rounder options (one of them overseas) is also a slot to look for. Raina has barely played any cricket in the last couple of years and did not exactly light up the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy either.
In all honesty, the strength, once again, is in their spin department where they could look to play Santner more, especially if the tournament is to be played in India as it is expected.
Salary cap remaining: Rs 19.96 crores
Overall slots remaining: 6
Overseas slots remaining: 1
Areas to target
- Indian off-spinner
- Marquee overseas batsman / all-rounder
- Indian middle order batsmen
- Younger squad options
IPL 2021: Purse & squad details before auction
|Franchise||Purse remaining (Rs crores)||Available Slots||Overseas Slots|
The auction will be telecast on Star Sports Network on 18 February from 3 pm IST.