The highly-anticipated auctions for Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 is set to be held on December 18 in Jaipur and the cricketing fraternity has already started to predict which club will target which played during the IPL auction. The defending champions – Chennai Super Kings (CSK) – will target a few big names to strengthen the squad, which has been termed as ‘aged’ since the conclusion of the previous auction. For the 12th edition of IPL – CSK have released three players in Mark Wood, Ksitiz Sharma and Kanishk Seth while retaining the core strength once again.
The experienced lot of CSK – which comprises several match-winners in MS Dhoni, Dwayne Bravo, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, has remained with the squad. Whereas, Faf Du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Shane Watson and Imran Tahir will once again bring their experience in tight matches. However, with a squad whose majority of players are in their 30s, the Chennai franchise would definitely eye some youth to give fresh air in the dressing room as well in the playing.
With Rs 8.40 crore left with CSK ahead of the IPL 2019 auction, let us take a look at five players who the Chennai outfit could sign for the Season 12 of IPL.
The flamboyant Manan Vohra could be a massive buy for CSK, the opener was brilliant for Kings XI Punjab, before being bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore, where he was not given many opportunities to showcase his stroke-playing ability. Vohra is flexible and can bat anywhere in the top order, and will provide MSD and CSK a breather. He could be a cheap option and the move might work like a charm for the Chennai outfit.
Jaydev Unadkat had his breakthrough season in the IPL under MS Dhoni when both were playing for Rising Pune Supergiants. The left-arm seamer picked up a staggering 24 wickets in 12 matches as MSD brought the best out of him. And after an average IPL 2018, Unadkat might be looking for a rejuvenation and who better than Dhoni to show the path to the 27-year-old pacer.
IPL 2019 could reunite the heroes of India’s World Cup winning campaigns – Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh. With CSK having a good budget with just a handful of players to buy, they could easily eye the signing of Yuvraj. With the 2019 World Cup just around the corner, many players might not play the entire edition, and with Yuvraj’s chances of making the cut to the World Cup slim, Dhoni and CSK’s hierarchy could easily snap up Yuvi and get it going for one last time.
With injuries and controversies hunting Shami’s prolific career, Delhi Daredevils – now Delhi Capitals – released the Indian pacer. CSK, meanwhile, could benefit a lot if they sign a wicket-taking bowler in Shami. If his fitness is managed well by the Chennai outfit, then he could become a real trump card for Dhoni. He is a brilliant new-ball bowler and has the variation to trouble the batters during the death overs. Dhoni’s eye would lit up if he gets an experienced bowler in Shami on their ranks.
The signing could prove to be a perfect substitute for all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. Axar, like Jadeja, is a left-arm orthodox and can pack a punch with his willow. The 24-year-old, if managed well, has the ability to turn the matches single-handedly. And Dhoni could be the perfect guide to show the path to the 24-year-old, who has struggled a bit of late.