Chennai Super Kings(CSK) has been one of the most successful franchises of all time. What makes them one of the most successful teams in each IPL season is their flexibility and the available options. They always start the season with many possibilities. Just in case their key players are injured or out of form, they still have suitable replacements in their backups.
CSK thus has many openers as well. From the likes of Hussey-Vijay and Smith-McCullum, CSK has always had a reliable opening pair. It would be exciting to see their opening combination this season. Today we shall take a look at five such possible opening combinations CSK could try.
1) Shane Watson and Faf Du Plessis
Unarguably the best available options to bat at the top for CSK is the experienced duo of Shane Watson and Faf Du Plessis. This veteran duo has been very successful for CSK at the top. It is This pair which has been opening for CSK in their last 5 matches. However, playing both of them would mean that they would have to compromise on one overseas bowling option, hence opening with Watto and Faf might affect CSK’s team balance.
2) Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu
Every team would want an opening combination where one opener can hit from ball one, and the other opener could take his time and anchor the innings from one end, Watson and Rayudu could perform that role with Wason the aggressor and Rayudu the anchor. This duo was CSK’s openers in the initial matches of IPL 2018 as well as IPL 2019. Rayudu, at the top, gives CSK the luxury to play an extra all-rounder at 7/8. Rayudu was very successful as an opener for CSK; this might be the opening duo CSK go ahead with. The first six mandatory Powerplay overs would also help Watson and Rayudu get those early boundaries and help them get to a good start.
3) Faf Du Plessis and Sam Curran
Now, this might be an unorthodox and surprising decision, but opening with Sam Curran and Faf Du Plessis might be a good option as Faf could bat through the innings and Curran could be the aggressor and give CSK a strong start with the help of a quick cameo, something like what Sunil Narine does for KKR. Opening with this duo gives CSK a ‘Nothing to lose’ scenario at the start of their innings. An important point to remember is that the UAE’s pitches are on the slower side, and opening with Sam Curran helps the likes of Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni to take their time in the middle overs and not unnecessarily come under pressure to hit the big shots.
4) Faf Du Plessis and Murali Vijay
This might be a surprise for a few, but CSK has already opened with Faf and Vijay way back in 2012. While both of them have been CSK’S loyal servants but it is very unlikely that Murali Vijay gets a chance to open the innings. However, one mustn’t forget that he did have two decent outings the last time he played for CSK, and opening with Faf and Vijay could be another option if Rayudu or Watson lost their form.
5) Murali Vijay and Ruturaj Gaikwad
Now, this might be a surprising choice, but imagine an opening combination of an experienced Indian opener and a young talent? CSK could try Vijay and Gaikwad at the top of the overseas openers don’t come right. This would also give the much-needed opportunity as he’s been in great form in the domestic circuit and would be itching to get on the field and don the yellow jersey. This would give CSK the luxury to play two overseas all-rounders as well as two overseas bowlers. It’s doubtful that CSK chooses this opening combination, but it’s still an option.