Aakash Chopra has picked his ideal CSK playing XI ahead of the start of IPL 2021
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) did not have a memorable outing in the last season of the Indian Premier League (IPL). They finished at the seventh position in the points table. CSK won just 6 out of the 14 games they played. Hence, the MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings will be hoping to make a strong statement in this year’s IPL.
The 14th edition of the IPL is just a few days away. Cricket pundits have started picking their ideal playing XI for various sides. Cricketer turned commentator Aakash Chopra has picked his CSK playing XI that will fare out strong in this year’s IPL.
Chopra chose the opening combination of Rituraj Gaikwad and the Proteas batsman Faf du Plessis. Gaikwad had a strong outing in IPL 2020.
Chopra feels that Ambati Rayudu should bat at number 3 for CSK. At number 4, he wants Suresh Raina to bat. Raina will be making a comeback to the team after missing out the last season due to personal reasons. Chopra wants the skipper MS Dhoni to bat at his usual position of number 5. At number 6, he wants Ravindra Jadeja to come and finish matches for CSK.
The English all-rounder Sam Curran was the standout performer for CSK last year with both bat and ball. Chopra feels that Curran should bat at number 7 this year. This will ensure that CSK has the optimum depth and flexibility in their batting line up.
Chopra picked the leg spinner, Karn Sharma, as the other spinner alongside Ravindra Jadeja. He feels that CSK should include at least four proper bowlers in the team. Karn can be a vital bowler considering that he is a leg spinner.
He left out some spinners in the likes of Moeen Ali and K Gowtham, whom CSK have bought in this year’s auction.
In a live video on his Youtube channel, Chopra also explained the reason behind not picking these two bowlers. He feels that Ali and Gowtham will not get to play for the team in the initial few grounds. He also does not find a place for Ali in the top 6. Chopra does not like the idea of Moeen batting at number 6 and Jadeja at number 7.
“Moeen Ali and Krishnappa Gowtham might not be seen playing all the matches in the initial few grounds. This is a possibility as I don’t see a place in the top six because if you include Moeen Ali in the top six, whom will you push down the order. I don’t like the idea of Moeen at No.6 and Jaddu at No.7”, said Chopra.
Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar and Josh Hazlewood part of Chopra’s bowling line up
Chopra has picked Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar and Josh Hazlewood as his three pacers. He feels that Hazlewood should be part of the CSK XI.
“Shardul and Deepak will be No.9 and No.10. You should definitely play Josh Hazlewood, he is imperative, he has to be a part of this side. This could be the makeup of this team although you might be seeing more Indians and less overseas. So, they can actually play around a little bit,” added Chopra.
However, Hazlewood has pulled out of the IPL 2021. So, CSK has to pick any other bowler in place of him.
Aakash Chopra’s CSK XI: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Josh Hazlewood (pulled out)