Former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar is confident that the MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will secure a spot in the top four of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024. CSK, the defending champions, clinched their fifth IPL title in 2023 by defeating Gujarat Titans in the final, making them one of the most successful teams in the tournament alongside the Mumbai Indians. Having played in ten IPL finals and reaching the playoffs 12 times in just 14 appearances, CSK boasts an impressive track record.
Speaking to Star Sports, Sunil Gavaskar emphasized the balanced combination of experience and youth in the CSK squad. He acknowledged the team’s areas of improvement from the previous season, citing the need to strengthen the bowling department and middle order after Ambati Rayudu’s retirement.
Sunil Gavaskar stated, “If you see the purchases they did at the auction table, the aspects they had to strengthen, it seemed like they lacked a little in bowling last year and in batting also they had to strengthen the middle order slightly after Ambati Rayudu’s retirement, they have done all that. They have a good mix of youth and experience.”
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Expressing optimism about CSK’s performance in the upcoming season, Gavaskar predicted that they would finish in the top four once again, given their consistent track record of qualifying for the playoffs 12 times out of 16 editions.
He commented, “So I feel CSK will definitely come in the top four as always. You cannot say any team ‘definitely yes’ as favorites. However, the way the Chennai Super Kings have performed for so many years, they have qualified in 12 of the 16 editions. So it’s likely to happen for the 13th time.”
MS Dhoni, the iconic former Indian captain, has been a key figure in CSK’s success. Leading the team since the inception of the IPL, Dhoni has played a crucial role in developing several players, including Joginder Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, and Matheesha Pathirana.
Maintaining continuity, the CSK support staff, led by former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming as head coach, remains unchanged. The team’s approach of placing trust in experienced players and providing them ample opportunities has been a cornerstone of their success. New additions like Rachin Ravindra, Shardul Thakur, and Daryl Mitchell are expected to contribute significantly to CSK’s campaign in IPL 2024.