Chennai Super Kings to Target Tamil Nadu Players? Local May be CSK’s Strategy

In 2008, when most teams were looking for ‘icon players’ ahead of the first IPL auction, Chennai Super Kings focused on the math. Instead of pouring extra cash on ‘icon players’, the management was keen to get MS Dhoni at any cost. There was a struggle with Mumbai Indians at the table, but Mumbai’s roping in of Sachin Tendulkar as an ‘icon player’ did not allow the bags to go all out for the Indian skipper.

CSK’s bid of Rs 6 crore for Dhoni was the highest in the auction and Mahi’s journey began from Ranchi to Thala in Chennai. While most teams wanted to plug that house with their ‘icon players’, CSK went Dhoni’s route as they were in the market for a wicketkeeper-batsman as their state did not have an IPL team. Virender Sehwag went to Delhi Daredevils, Yuvraj Singh to Kings XI Punjab, Rahul Dravid to Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sachin Tendulkar to Mumbai Indians.

Over the years, most of the ‘icon players’ mentioned above kept moving bases but Dhoni and CSK were a match made in heaven. Season after season, Dhoni grew in Chennai and they responded with great affection to the former Indian captain. Thalla became the toast of the state and Dhoni-less CSK is a situation no one at home has.

R Ashwin, Murali Vijay, S Badrinath and Abhinav Mukund, local players from Tamil Nadu, have represented the team for quite some time, but none of them have succeeded like Dhoni. And that’s how Suresh Raina, from Uttar Pradesh, made their own ‘Chinna Thala’.

Few Tamil Nadu players have been seen in the CSK ranks in the last five years. In 2012, there were eight players from TN in the squad, but the number was reduced to two in the 2022 edition. Hari Nishaanth and N Jagadeesan were the two players in the squad and both were released ahead of the 2023 mini-auction. Fourteen TN players have played in the IPL this year, but only two were in the CSK set-up.

Will CSK go for local talent this time?

The upcoming IPL mini-auction in Kochi gives CSK a chance to rope in some local players. TN has shown great improvement in white-ball competitions over the past five years and many players have produced consistent performances with bat and ball on the domestic circuit. Of the 405 players selected for the December 23 tender, 16 are from TN.

CSK’s remaining purse is Rs 20.45 crore and allows them to increase their current squad size of 18 to certain players and supplement the numbers with unlimited cheap buys. N Jagadeesan should be on the franchise’s radar, but his recent exploits in the domestic circuit won’t make him a cheap buy. Also, there are other teams who need a top-class wicketkeeper-batsman.

They can look at everyone in the middle order and have the backups of Ambati Rayudu and Shivam Dube. Baba Aparajith, who was with the franchise from 2013 to 2015 but did not get a game, is a perfect fit for the middle order as he is a good spinner and a useful off-spinner too.

And if N Jagadeesan doesn’t fit into their budget, they can seek the services of Baba Indrajith, who played as a batsman for KKR in the last edition, at a base price. With the home and away format, having players who know the local conditions well can be a huge advantage for the franchise.

A quick look at the team sheet suggests that there are few additions that CSK would like to make. Bringing Sam Curran back into the mix would be high on their agenda and then finding the right homegrown talent to cover their existing talent pool. Rayudu is not getting any younger so he is a local middle order backup. A local left-arm spinner in M ​​Siddharth should also interest them, as he is known for his accuracy and has a wicked arm ball. The other left-arm spinner available in TN is Sanjay Yadav, who was part of Mumbai Indians last year. He can hit the long way and is an effective operator with the ball in the shortest format.

Tamil Nadu players in the CSK camp over the years

2012: Srikkanth Aniruddha, S Badrinath, R Ashwin, Abhinav Mukund, Yo Mahesh, Murali Vijay, Kuthethurshri Vasudevadas, Ganapathi Vignesh,

2013: Aparajith, Srikkanth Aniruddha, S Badrinath, Vijay Shankar, R Ashwin, Ravi Karthikeyan, Murali Vijay

2014: Aparajith, Ashwin, Vijay Shankar

2015: Baba wAparajith, R Ashwin

2018: N Jagadeesan, Murali Vijay

2019: N Jagadeesan, Murali Vijay

2020: Jagadeesan, R Sai Kishore, Murali Vijay,

2021: Hari Nishaanth, N Jagadeesan,

2022: Hari Nishaanth, N Jagadeesan

(CSK was banned from IPL in 2016 and 2017 editions)

Super Kings of Chennai

The rest of the bag: INR 20.45 crore

Released players: Dwayne Bravo, Robin Uthappa, Adam Milne, Hari Nishaanth, Chris Jordan, Bhagath Varma, KM Asif, N Jagadeesan

Current team: MS Dhoni (c), Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ambati Rayudu, Subhranshu Senapati, Moeen Ali, Shivam Dube, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Dwaine Pretorius, Mitchell Santner, Ravindra Jadeja, Tushar Deshpande, Mukesh Chowdhary, Matheesha Pathirpakhar, De Simarje Pathiret Siner, Prashant Solanki, Maheesh Theekshana

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