It has been a topsy-turvy journey for Chennai Super Kings till now in the 13th edition of IPL. They hammered the defending champions Mumbai Indians in the tournament opener. But the last two games potentially displayed their weaker side. The men in yellow suffered a 16 run defeat against Rajasthan Royals, but the loss against Delhi capitals gave a significant dent to their NRR (Net Run Rate).
Their skipper, MS Dhoni, emphasized the areas they need to improve in the post-match interview. The one that would be giving him a major headache is their opening batting. As an opener, Murali Vijay is not giving the confidence and is likely to be benched in the next game. Their other opener, Shane Watson, is expected to be given a long rope just like the last season. He delivers in big games, and the previous two seasons are the prime examples of the same. The one week break would probably give the team to find out the ideal opening pair and come back stronger. We have listed few Opening options for CSK before the start of the tournament, but the scene has changed now, as the yellow team has lost 2 of their 3 opening games.
However, we will find out what Captain Cool has pulled out of the box full of tricks in their next match against SRH. Until then, we are here to discuss who would make an ideal opening pair that can bring the forever end to their opening batting woe…
1. Shane Watson and Ruturaj Gaikwad
‘He is an outstanding batsman and will get a chance now. Ruturaj can become the star of the show, who knows?’ CSK boss, Srinivasan said. The calibre of the right-handed batsman can be known from the statement. Although the two games he played didn’t fare out well for him but giving him an opening slot can open the curtains of success for him and the franchise.
Ruturaj was the leading run-scorer for Maharashtra in the league stage of Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy. If given a chance to open with Watson, he can perform the anchor’s role well. At the same time, Watson, on the other end, would have the freedom to tear apart the opponents. Their combination can do wonders for CSK and give them the steam they lack in the batting department.
CSK is the franchise known to back their players. Their talismanic skipper has made many brave decisions in the past. With his side being found on the wrong side of the result in the past two games, don’t be surprised to see him making another bold move in the next match.
2. Shane Watson and Sam Curran
Whatever Sam Curran is touching, it is turning to gold. CSK has utilized him as a pinch hitter, finisher, and death over bowler in the three games. He has delivered more than the expectations in all the departments. The talent meets opportunity slogan perfectly fits him. Now the question arises, Why not try him as an opener?
We have seen KKR opening the innings with Sunil Narine, which turned out to be a huge hit. Sam Curran has a wide range of shots and can take maximum advantage of the powerplay overs. CSK’s batting lineup lacks bite. With Curran opening the innings, attack from all corners approach could be adopted. While Watson, who looks completely out of sorts, can afford to take time with Curran getting under the skin of the opponents from the other end. This could be a game-changer for the yellow army this season. They are not touted as favorites and need to do something out of the box to shoot at the trophy.
We are definitely in for some surprises, but we would have to wait till their next game, scheduled at 2nd October against Sunrisers Hyderabad.