The IPL 2018 became a more exciting tournament with the return of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals into the competition. The tournament will begin on 7th April 2018. The CSK franchise will play the defending champions, Mumbai Indians in the curtain-raiser match at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.
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Both the teams seem strong and consistent this time. Both of the franchises succeeded to retain the core players and managed to get new star players. They picked Evin Lewis, Ishan Kishan, Pat Cummins, Imran Tahir, Lungi Ngidi, Shane Watson and Kedar Jadhav. Faf Du Plessis may probably miss out this tournament due to the finger injury and Mitchell Santner was out of the tournament on the same grounds. Here we can take a look at the probable playing XI for Chennai Super Kings in the inaugural match.
Shane Watson is one of the costliest buys by the Chennai Super Kings franchise. He is one of the pinch hitters and is expected to open the game for the team. This Australian is one of the most experienced all-rounders in the shortest format cricket around the world. He played 102 T20s in his career and opened in a majority of the matches. He scored 2622 runs at an average of 31.21 at the strike rate of 139. This 35-year old opener will be a good option to open the game along with Murali Vijay and encounter the pacers like Jasprit Bumrah and Pat Cummins.
He is back to his home team after 2014. He is one of the team members that lifted the title earlier. He had a vast experience of playing the games at Wankhede and can be an alternate to Faf Du Plessis who will be out of the team for at least the initial matches of the tournament.
Dhoni, the captain will probably play in the middle order. He is one of the formidable batsmen at No.3 or 4. He had a lot of experience at Wankhede and may opt to play at No.4 to settle and keep his saga going until the final overs.
Raina is undoubtedly one of the best batsmen in the IPL history. He stood as the highest run getter and scored 4540 runs off 161 games in IPL. He was retained for this season by the franchise earlier before the auction. He is one of the damaging hitters at No.3. His average was 34 and the strike rate was 139.
Though he is not a permanent member of the Indian team in the shortest cricket format, he was called by the franchise for a lucrative deal in the auctions. He is a good hitter and can cope up with all kinds of the bowling attack. Jadhav did a good performance in IPL 2017 but was out of form in the recent past.
He was the part of the team since the inception of IPL. He took 1732 runs and 82 wickets under his belt from 138 IPL games by his all-round performance. This 29-year old player may serve the team as the left-arm spinner as well as lower middle order batsman.
He is one of the favorite all-rounders of the yellow army. He has 1238 runs and 122 wickets off his IPL career and played 375 T20 games. He bagged purple cap twice in his IPL career. He is a good death-over bowler. He may be replaced by Kieron Pollard or may accompany the Pandya brothers in the middle order.
He is one of the inexperienced players in the team. But he did well in the recent Nidahas tournament. He is playing his debut IPL season for CSK. He played for Mumbai Indians earlier. He can bowl with the new ball up to the speed of 140kph.
He is one of the star players of the IPL. He played for Mumbai Indians since the inaugural IPL season. He took 127 wickets off 136 IPL games. He entered the franchise to replace Ravichandran Ashwin. He is an efficient bowler to encounter left-handed batsmen. His experience is the asset for Dhoni’s men.
Imran Tahir is the highest wicket-taker in IPL among overseas bowlers in previous IPL. He picked 18 wickets off 12 games for Pune Supergiants at an economy rate of 7.85. He can restrict the middle order batsmen of the Mumbai Indians team with his abilities.
Mark Wood, the popular English pacer is the fastest among his likes. He is a consistent player for his county and national teams. He has to face tough competition from Lungi Ngidi to cement his place in the team. He did well for his team in the ODI series against New Zealand and Australia.