Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra has expressed his belief that Shardul Thakur could make a comeback to the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) franchise in the upcoming IPL 2024 Auction. Thakur’s impressive stint with CSK in the past, particularly his exceptional performance in the 2021 IPL season, has led Chopra to anticipate his return to the team.
Thakur’s journey with CSK began in 2018 when he was acquired by the franchise. During his tenure with CSK, he established himself as a crucial player, especially in the 2021 IPL season, where he emerged as the team’s leading wicket-taker with 21 wickets. His ability to take crucial wickets and maintain a competitive economy rate made him a valuable asset to the team’s success that year.
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However, in the last IPL season, Thakur’s impact was minimal during his time with the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). Despite shining with the bat in their second match against Royal Challengers Bangalore, his overall performance was underwhelming. He managed to score only 113 runs and pick up 7 wickets in 11 matches, leading to his release by KKR ahead of the upcoming auction.
Analyzing CSK’s current squad, Chopra observed that the franchise needs to strengthen two key departments, one of which is the fast-bowling department. He believes that Thakur’s experience and proven track record could make him a suitable addition to the team’s bowling attack.
“It’s clear there are two departments where they will have to rebuild a little. One is the fast-bowling department because Tushar Deshpande, Deepak Chahar, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Simarjeet Singh – they will need someone other than that,” Aakash Chopra stated.
“They need fast bowlers. It could be overseas or Indian. They will definitely go shopping for fast bowlers. They generally go towards experienced players. So don’t be surprised if they pick Shardul Thakur because 31.4 crore rupees is a lot and Shardul Thakur was also earlier part of this team,” Aakash Chopra added.
Given Thakur’s past success with CSK and his experience in the IPL, Chopra’s prediction of his potential return to the franchise holds weight. The upcoming IPL auction will reveal whether CSK will indeed make a move to bring Thakur back into the fold.