IPL 2021, Team Preview: Batsmen's Lack Of Game-Time Big Challenge For Chennai Super Kings
Dhoni has not played any cricket since last year's IPL while Ravindra Jadeja has not played since injuring his thumb during India's tour of Australia in January. Sam Curran is the only player in the CSK middle-order who has been playing regular cricket this year.
The presence of Moeen gives CSK another spin bowling option to go with Imran Tahir. Bravo remains potent in the death overs, having done so for West Indies against Sri Lanka in their recent home T20I series while Curran would also slot in. Shardul Thakur has been one of the Indian players who took international cricket by storm and would be a potent weapon in the CSK bowling line-up.
Batting coach Michael Hussey said the fact that CSK is starting their campaign at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai will help the three-time champions.
"The conditions at Wankhede are generally very good for both batsmen and bowlers, so hopefully we can start well and players can feel good about their game. A good start would be nice because the players will then relax and hopefully play their best cricket with confidence. Otherwise, the pressure can build up on everyone involved," said the former Australia batsman.
"Moeen is an excellent all-rounder, Robin has a lot of experience and has been a quality performer in the past and Gowtham has some genuine talent that we can look to develop further," said Hussey.
Full squad: MS Dhoni (Captain/wicketkeeper), Suresh Raina, Narayan Jagadeesan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, KM Asif, Karn Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Deepak Chahar, Faf du Plessis, Shardul Thakur, Mitchell Santner, Dwayne Bravo, Lungi Ngidi, Sam Curran, Ravindra Jadeja, Imran Tahir, Robin Uthappa, Moeen Ali, K Gowtham, Cheteshwar Pujara, M.Harisankar Reddy, K.Bhagath Varma, C Hari Nishaanth, R Sai Kishore
Coaching Staff: Stephen Fleming (head coach), Mike Hussey (batting coach), L Balaji (bowling coach), Eric Simons (bowling consultant), Rajiv Kumar (fielding coach)
Quote on the 2021 season:
I feel we have a very balanced squad that has most bases covered and with depth in most areas. The guys are in really good spirits and have been and are preparing extremely well - Michael Hussey, CSK batting coach