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I won’t be surprised at all if the Chennai Super Kings don’t qualify: Aakash Chopra

April 1, 2021

Written By,

Payel Gosh

Former Indian batsman Aakash Chopra stated that he would not be surprised if CSK fails to qualify for the playoffs in the upcoming IPL season. The Yellow Army missed the playoffs last year for the very first time in the history of IPL. They were the first team to be knocked out of the competition for a playoff spot and ultimately finished seventh in the points table.

Chennai Super Kings is one of the most consistent IPL teams. MS Dhoni-led side has qualified for the playoffs in ten out of eleven IPL seasons. The team has so far won three titles and are only behind arch-rivals Mumbai Indians (5) on the list of most titles won by the IPL franchises. However, Aakash Chopra is not sure about the team's credentials in the upcoming season.

Josh Hazlewood opts out of the tournament

MS Dhoni and the team will play their first five games in Mumbai this year, followed by the next four in Kolkata. Chopra clarified how fast bowlers could be the key at the Wankhede Stadium and CSK lacks genuine fast bowlers in their bowling attack. He named Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood as the only quick bowler in the line-up. However, the fast bowler has pulled out of the tournament and has decided not to travel to India. Apart from Josh Hazlewood, Chennai has Lungi Ngidi to rely on when it comes to leading their pace department. The three-time IPL champions can also rope in another pacer in place of Josh Hazlewood. Chennai will open their IPL 2021 campaign against Delhi on April 10 in Mumbai.

Aakash Chopra further reckoned that the lack of competitive cricket among key players in the CSK squad could also result in the team struggling in the tournament. While the likes of MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, and Ambati Rayudu have already retired from the international circuit, Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo, and others have not recently played much cricket.

CSK Squad for IPL 2021

Retained players

MS Dhoni, Sam Curran, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Karn Sharma, KM Asif, Imran Tahir, Ambati Rayudu, N Jagadeesan, Mitchell Santner, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shardul Thakur, Josh Hazlewood, Lungi Ngidi, R Sai Kishore.

Players bought at Auction

  • Moeen Ali (Rs 7 crore)
  • K Gowtham (Rs 9.25 crore)
  • Cheteshwar Pujara (Rs 50 lakh)
  • Harishankar Reddy (Rs 20 lakh)
  • Bhagath Varma (Rs 20 lakh)
  • Hari Nishanth (Rs 20 lakh)

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Written By,

Payel Gosh