Akash Chopra Dissects CSK’s Struggles For IPL 2018
By CricShots - Feb 12, 2018 9:34 am
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With the start of a new decade of the Indian Premier League (IPL) starting in April, one of the major factors for excitement among fans is the return of Chennai Super Kings (csk) and MS Dhoni in the yellow jersey. The franchise had been banned for two years, however, that has done no damage to their incredible fanbase or their reputation as one of the best teams in the history of the tournament.


As Dhoni returns back to his dynasty, with a record of 83 wins and the history of qualifying into every playoff since its existence, he has an issue or two to address with the revamped squad. Even though the franchise has retained some of their core players such as Dhoni himself, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Murali Vijay and Faf du Plessis, they have a few issues which need to be addressed. For example, the combination they go in with considering they have banked on experience over youth in mainly all departments.

Also read: Ashwin's plans for IPL 2018

Mahi’s challenge begins right at the top with the plethora of options he can opt for as the opening duo- Vijay, du Plessis, Shane Watson and Sam Billings. Commentator and analyst Aakash Chopra in Game Plan on this issue said, “Because they have a strong Indian core and don’t have an overseas fast bowler, I’m tempted to use overseas players as openers. No Vijay for a couple of games because I’m expecting them to dish out pitches that favour spinners and Dwayne Bravo which means overseas batsmen can bat well when the ball is new.”

He further added, “There is also the issue regarding where he himself will bat. According to the numbers in the last two years, Dhoni is best suited at No. 5 with 65 at a S/R of 136. At no. 4, he averages 28.6 at a S/R of 139. It is clear that he cannot play the role of the finisher as effectively because, at No. 6, he averages 16.3 at a S/R of 91.”

Aakash Chopra

On Dhoni’s much-debated batting position in limited overs cricket, Chopra said, “He should bat at 4. Raina at 3 and Dhoni at 4 because he needs time. We’ve seen so far that the first 15-20 balls, he takes a lot of time. His strike rate against spin… and a lot of spin will be bowled at him in Chennai because the secret is no longer a secret that if you no longer bowl spin at him, he will not be able to rotate strike or take the ball to the cleaners.”

Also read: Dhoni wanted Bhajji in CSK

While experience and age has been by CSk over the years, their pace attack still seems inexperienced. While Lungisiani Ngidi picked up 7 wickets on his Test debut against India, he remains untested in this tournament and Indian conditions in general. Even Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar and Mark Wood have little low on IPL experience.

Addressing the same issue, Aakash said, “They are relying heavily on Dwayne Bravo. I’m expecting Mark Wood to play. Deepak Chahar has an excellent Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, but you need to tread with caution. I think it will be Bravo and Wood who will have to do the bulk of the bowling.”