IPL 2023: Decoding CSK's Probable XI versus Gujarat Titans
Chennai Super Kings are one of the most successful franchises in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Led by MS Dhoni, the franchise has won four IPL titles in the past. They will be aiming for their fifth crown this time under the able leadership of Dhoni. CSK will play in this season's curtain raiser clash against Gujarat Titans on March 31. Here's more.
Performances in previous seasons
CSK are four-time champions, winning the crown in 2010, 2011, 2018, and 2021. They have also finished runners-up five times, in 2008, 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2019 respectively. They also finished in the top four in 2009 and 2014. Only in 2020 and 2022, they finished out of the top four. Notably, CSK were suspended in 2016 and 2017.
Here's a look at the head-to-head record
The head-to-head record is pretty straightforward as last season was GT's inaugural IPL. So the Titans have a 2-0 lead over CSK as they did the double last term. GT won both matches by three wickets and seven wickets, respectively. Ruturaj Gaikwad smashed fifties in both matches against GT but ended up on the losing side.
Here's a look at the CSK squad for IPL 2023
CSK Squad: MS Dhoni (captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ambati Rayudu, Subhranshu Senapati, Moeen Ali, Shivam Dube, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Dwaine Pretorius, Mitchell Santner, Deepak Chahar, Tushar Deshpande, Mukesh Choudhary, Matheesha Pathirana, Simarjeet Singh, Prashant Solanki, Maheesh Theekshana, Ajinkya Rahane, Ben Stokes, Shaik Rasheed, Nishant Sindhu, Ajay Mandal, Bhagath Varma, Sisanda Magala. Ruled Out: Kyle Jamieson.
CSK's top order versus GT
CSK's dependable duo of Gaikwad and Devon Conway will open the innings. Gaikwad has already smashed two half-centuries against GT last season. He was CSK's top-scorer last season with 368 runs, while Conway smoked 252 runs in seven matches. Ambati Rayudu, who scored 274 runs last season, will look to step up. He is among the 13 batters to score 4000-plus IPL runs.
Solid middle order for CSK
With a middle order comprising Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Ravindra Jadeja, and Dhoni, CSK can surely aim for the stars this time. All of them are tested players in this format and have scored loads of runs. As per ESPNCricinfo, Stokes will play as a specialist batter due to his knee injury. Ali finished with 244 runs and eight wickets last season.
A look at the key bowlers
Jadeja is CSK's second-highest wicket-taker in IPL history, having scalped 105 wickets in 142 outings. Deepak Chahar will be vital as he has picked the most wickets in the powerplays since 2018 (44). Ali snapped eight wickets last season at an economy of 6.62. Maheesh Theekshana will be crucial in home games. He picked up 12 wickets last season in nine matches.
A look at CSK's Probable XI
CSK's Probable XI: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway, Ambati Rayudu, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Ravindra Jadeja, Shivam Dube, MS Dhoni (captain and wicket-keeper), Dwaine Pretorius, Deepak Chahar, Tushar Deshpande. CSK will miss Matheesa Pathirana and Theekshana as Sri Lanka are playing against New Zealand. Meanwhile, last season's star speedster Mukesh is nursing a back injury and will miss some part of the season.