Chennai Super Kings IPL 2023 Preview: CSK to bounce back?


Cricket News: Chennai Super Kings IPL 2023 Preview: CSK to bounce back? | CSK IPL 2023 SWOT Analysis: Can MS Dhoni’s team return to the top?

Chennai Super Kings (CSK), one of the most successful franchises in all of T20 cricket, had a season to forget in 2022. The team came ninth, saved from a bottom-placed finish due to net run rate, with injuries, captaincy drama and lack of form for key players derailing their season.

Heading into IPL 2023, CSK have a renewed sense of hope. Ravindra Jadeja is on deck and everything seems to be fine between he and the team management. The addition of Ben Stokes can prove to be very beneficial. And, of course, there is the return to Chepauk, CSK’s spiritual home, where their spinners can be very tough to handle.

CSK squad for IPL 2023

*Excluding Kyle Jamieson, who is injured.

MS Dhoni (c) Batsman/Wicket-keeper 12 Crore
Devon Conway Batsman 1 crore
Ruturaj Gaikwad Batsman 6 Crore
Ambati Rayudu Batsman/Wicket-keeper 6.75 crore
Subhranshu Senapati Batsmen 20 lakh
Moeen Ali All-Rounder 8 Crore
Shivam Dube All-Rounder 4 crore
Rajvardhan Hangargekar Bowler 1.5 crore
Dwaine Pretorius All-Rounder 50 lakh
Mitchell Santner Bowler 1.9 crore
Ravindra Jadeja All-Rounder 16 Crore
Tushar Deshpande Bowler 20 lakh
Mukesh Chowdhary Bowler 20 lakh
Matheesha Pathirana Bowler 20 lakh
Simarjeet Singh Bowler 20 lakh
Deepak Chahar Bowler 14 crore
Prashant Solanki Bowler 1.2 crore
Maheesh Theekshana Bowler 70 lakh
Ajinkya Rahane Batsman 50 lakh
Ben Stokes All-Rounder 16.25 crore
Shaik Rasheed Batsman 20 lakh
Nishant Sindhu All-Rounder 60 lakh
Ajay Mandal All-Rounder 20 lakh
Bhagath Varma

CSK possible XI for first match

1. Ben Stokes (OS), 2. Ruturaj Gaikwad, 3. Devon Conway (OS), 4. Ambati Rayudu, 5. Ravindra Jadeja, 6. Moeen Ali (OS), 7. MS Dhoni (c & wk), 8. Deepak Chahar, 9. Maheesh Theekshana (OS), 10. Tushar Deshpande/Simranjeet Singh, 11. Mukesh Chowdhury

ALSO READ: Mumbai Indians (MI) IPL 2023 Preview: Can the five-time champions make it six?

CSK IPL 2023 Preview: Strengths & Weaknesses

That being said, let’s have a look at CSK’s key strengths and weaknesses heading into the new season.


Quality all-rounders delivers excellent team balance

Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali and Ravindra Jadeja are all excellent all-rounders in their own right. All three can turn the game in CSK’s favour, with Stokes a danger up top (should CSK bat him higher up the order), Moeen excellent in the middle and Jadeja more than capable to finish strongly.

Also, CSK can turn to the trio to deliver at least 8+ overs between them, giving skipper MS Dhoni a number of bowling options to turn to.

Return of Deepak Chahar

CSK missed Deepak Chahar’s services terribly in IPL 2022. The seamer has been a mainstay of the franchise over the years, with his powerplay exploits often holding CSK in great stead.

His limited amount of competitive cricket in 2023 can be a worry, but he can quickly adjust to the intensity of the IPL with his experience and ability.

Return to Chepauk

With the IPL back to a full home and away season, CSK will enjoy seven league games at their beloved Chepauk. MS Dhoni’s team have often been very difficult to beat on this ground, with the pitches usually aiding spinners. Of course, the franchise boasts strong spin options in Maheesh Theekshana, Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali and Mitchell Santner among others, while the likes of Devon Conway, Ben Stokes and Ambati Rayudu are strong players of spin.


Bowling stocks on good batting surfaces

Given the return of the full home and away season, CSK will play matches on excellent batting pitches around the country. The key question is whether the franchise has enough depth in their pace department to cope.

Chahar, as mentioned, is certainly the leader of the pack, but who else can step up? Tushar Deshpande and Mukesh Chowdhury have their qualities, but how well they can limit brilliant players across the entireity of the tournament remains to be seen. Simranjeet Singh and Matheesha Pathirana (overseas) are two other seam bowlers who could see decent game time throughout IPL 2023.

In terms of spin options, CSK have only the inexperienced Prashant Solanki as a wristspinner in the squad. It will be interesting to see how the men in yellow fare in IPL 2023 with the makeup of their bowling attack.

Lack of strong backups for key players

Deepak Chahar’s injury had a profound impact on CSK in IPL 2022, and the team needs him to stay fit throughout IPL 2023 such is his influence. Also, CSK lack quality backups for their key all-rounders, so one feels the franchise needs a good run with injuries throughout the campaign.

Verdict: How will CSK fare in IPL 2023?

The return to Chepauk means CSK are in with a shout of qualifying to the playoffs as they can win most – if not all – of their matches at home. Whether CSK can win enough matches away from home is the key question, with the bowling attack a bit of a worry. However, they have the all-round talent to deliver some victories away from home, which is why CSK can make the playoffs.

ALSO READ: Mumbai Indians (MI) IPL 2023 Preview: Can the five-time champions make it six?


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