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Chennai Super Kings SWOT Analysis for IPL 2021

S-U-P-E-R! K-I-N-G-S! One of the most successful and beloved franchises in the history of the IPL, the Chennai Super Kings are back to entertain us this season. MS Dhoni is “definitely not” ready to give up on his aspirations of lifting the crown again as of yet and a good IPL Auction showed CSK’s intent again. Who will be the key player for them this season? Can Curran continue on his good form? Does Gowtham fit into the side? We answer these questions in our SWOT analysis!

Sam Curran was in brilliant form in the recently concluded ODI series. He could be a revelation for the Super Kings in IPL 2021 | Image Source: Twitter.com

STRENGTHS

Sam Curran was CSK’s highest wicket-taker last season and his current form along with his all-round abilities make him a key player for the Super Kings. The return of Suresh Raina adds depth to their batting order. But can Moeen Ali and K Gowtham can be the explosive duo at the end? Surely along with Sam Curran, they can wreck any bowling lineup on their day.

Faf Du Plessis was their top scorer with 449 last season with a strike rate of 140. With Gaikwad, Faf can give the Super Kings some explosive starts. The return to India means spinning options like Jadeja, Moeen, Gowtham or even the likes of Santner, Tahir and Sai Kishore will be effective.

Also Read: Mumbai Indians SWOT Analysis for IPL 2021

 

WEAKNESS

Apart from Faf Du Plessis, none of the top 5 batters are involved internationally anymore with Gaikwad yet to feature. Does the lack of match sharpness hurt them then? Certainly with Dhoni, Rayudu, and Raina not even majorly involved with their domestic teams, form, and match-fitness will be a genuine question.

The Super Kings have been known for their top-quality spinners in the past and although they have a lot of spin options, apart from Jadeja nobody can be called genuinely world-class while only 20 wickets were taken by this lot in IPL 2020. With so many players lacking the frequent quality game-time, fielding which was an issue for CSK last year might come back to haunt them again this year.

 

OPPORTUNITIES

With Watson now retired and Rayudu preferring to bat in the middle order, the path is all clear for Ruturaj Gaikwad to open the batting alongside Faf Du Plessis. Faf was the highest run-getter for the team in IPL 2020 while Gaikwad was in top form in the last three matches and scored 204 runs at an average of 51 and a strike rate of 121 towards the end. If these two set the platform, the Super Kings have enough hitters to take them to a big total.

Shardul Thakur was the leading wicket-taker for India in the recently concluded ODI series. Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur took 22 wickets last season. Will the duo be able to repeat it in IPL 2021 for the Super Kings? Alongside Ngidi and Curran, the pace quartet certainly has a good chance on pitches of Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru.

Faf Du Plessis will be looking to repeat his good performances from IPL 2020 | Image Source: Twitter.com

 

THREATS

Lack of depth at the middle order would be a major issue for the Chennai Super Kings. Raina, Rayudu, and Dhoni have played no competitive cricket whatsoever after IPL 2020 which would be of huge concern. Will the trio be fit enough to last the entire season? A question that could be a potential worry.

Jadeja is also just coming back from an injury setback and there is no one to backup his skillset in the squad if he needs the rest. With Hazlewood gone and a replacement not announced yet, Ngidi will be under additional pressure to perform which could take a toll on the South African who is already set to miss the opening clash due to International commitments.

 

The Chennai Super Kings have done well in the Auctions but they still look a team in the rebuilding phase. Having said that, they have enough quality to push for the playoffs under Thala’s leadership. While squad depth in certain key areas might worry them, there is no shying away from the fact that there are multiple match-winners in this team. Stay tuned to The Sports Doyen for all the coverage of the Indian Premier League!

 

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