Even though Chennai Super Kings finished 9th in IPL 2022, they didn’t do a complete overhaul and stuck with most of their players.
Robin Uthappa retired from last season’s squad and left out was Dwayne Bravo, who also retired from the IPL and joined the franchise as bowling coach. Apart from Uthappa and Bravo, CSK dropped only 6 other players and retained the remaining 18 from their previous season squad.
Led by MS Dhoni and Stephen Fleming, the franchise also parted ways with foreign contenders Adam Milne, Chris Jordan and young Indian batsman Narayan Jagadeesan, who recently scored big in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Players released by CSK: Dwayne Bravo, Adam Milne, Chris Jordan, Robin Uthappa (retired), Narayan Jagadeesan, KM Asif, Hari Nishaanth, Bhagath Varma
Especially in the upcoming IPL 2023 mini auction, they will be chasing some quality middle-order batsmen and overseas fast bowlers.
Here is CSK’s best XI from the retained players:
Openers: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway
IPL 2021 Orange Cap holder Gaikwad has had a patchy IPL 2022. After a terrible start to his campaign with single-digit scores, Gaikwad got some of his mojo back and ended the tournament with 368 runs – a far cry from his 600+ runs. last season – an average of 29.
However, Conway, playing his first season for CSK, batted in full force and finished with 252 runs in 7 matches at an average of 42 and a strike rate of 145 with 3 fifties.
Middle order: Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu, Shivam Dube, MS Dhoni
Moeen Ali will remain CSK’s number 3 who has to play the role of the aggressor but the left-hander had a poor season in 2022 scoring 244 runs at a strike rate of 137 but did well to take 8 wickets. Rayudu, who even announced his retirement mid-season and called it off, managed 274 runs at a strike rate of 122.
Dube was a positive for CSK last season: 289 runs at a strike rate of 156 and is becoming a reliable lower-order batsman.
MS Dhoni is likely to play his last IPL season. The 41-year-old is expected to mostly bat lower down the order, but his wicket-keeping and captaincy have made a significant impact on the franchise.
All-rounders: Ravindra Jadeja, Dwaine Pretorius
Jadeja had a dreadful IPL 2022 – apart from being sacked as CSK captain mid-season, the all-rounder managed just 116 runs at a strike rate of 118 and picked 5 wickets before being ruled out with a rib injury. He was even unhappy with CSK and contemplated walking out of the franchise, but MS Dhoni’s intervention helped resolve the issue and the all-rounder will remain with CSK.
Pretorius was excellent for South Africa as a T20 bowler but picked 6 wickets in 6 matches for CSK. In the absence of Bravo, Pretorius will be Dhoni’s main bowler in the death overs.
Bowlers: Deepak Chahar, Mukesh Chowdhary, Maheesh Theekshana
Deepak Chahar’s return from injury is a big boost for CSK and he will partner Mukesh Chowdhary with the new ball. Chowdhary was sensational with the ball after a few ordinary matches and finished last season with 16 wickets. Simarjeet Singh has also shown some of his skills in the last few matches for CSK.
Theekshana did what Theekshana does – took wickets in the powerplay. The Sri Lankan spinner took 12 wickets in the season.
CSK’s Best XI Among Retained Players: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway, Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni(c,wk), Dwaine Pretorius, Deepak Chahar, Mukesh Chowdhary, Maheesh Theekshana
CSK squad retained: MS Dhoni (c), Moeen Ali, Deepak Chahar, Mukesh Chowdhary, Devon Conway, Tushar Deshpande, Shivam Dube, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Ravindra Jadeja, Matheesha Pathirana, Dwaine Pretorius, Ambati Rayudu, Mitchell Santner, Subhranshu Senapati, Simarjeet Singh , Prashant Solanki, Maheesh Theekshana
CSK also retained Sri Lankan all-rounder Matheesha Pathirana and New Zealand spinner Santner. Rajvardhan Hangargekar would be hoping to make his debut for CSK next season.