IPL 2020: Aakash Chopra picks CSK’s ideal playing XI; names their top performer for this season

CSK will start their IPL 2020 campaign against Mumbai Indians on September 19.

 Chennai Super Kings | IANSChennai Super Kings (CSK) have suffered quite a few blows after landing in UAE for the 2020 edition of Indian Premier League.

13 members of the CSK squad, including two cricketers, were tested positive for COVID-19, which led to the team starting their practice session one week late as they had to undergo prolonged quarantine.

As if this wasn’t enough, Super Kings’ star batsman Suresh Raina and veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh pulled out of the tournament citing “personal reasons”.

After a series of setbacks, it will be interesting to see CSK’s team composition in the cash-rich event.

Meanwhile, former India opener-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra on Tuesday (September 8) picked his ideal CSK XI and named Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu as the opening pair.

See Also: "Without Dhoni, CSK will become half," Aakash Chopra opines about MS Dhoni's CSK future

Chopra opted to go with veteran South African batsman Faf du Plessis for the No. 3 slot. There was a toss up between Kedar Jadhav and MS Dhoni for the No. 4 position but the ex-Delhi cricketer went with the former.

"At No.1, I am putting Shane Watson. He doesn't play international cricket, which goes against him. We said the same thing the last 2 years, but he went hard at the bowlers. There was a time when everyone thought that he should be dropped but MS Dhoni didn't do that and then Watson repaid the faith shown on him.

"Along with him will be Ambati Rayudu. The last twelve months have been eventful for him. He first announced his retirement and then unretired himself. Now we will have to see how he bats in the IPL.

"At No.3, I am going with Faf du Plessis. I think this season will be very important for him, especially if you see from CSK's point of view. Because if he does well, then CSK will also do well because he will have to shoulder the burden of Raina's absence. He plays spin well and is very fit also.

"At No.4, you can keep MS Dhoni or Kedar Jadhav. I have gone for the latter.

"So, we will have MS Dhoni at No.5. For MS Dhoni the simple rule should be that he should go into bat whenever 10-11 overs are done, irrespective of the batting position," Aakash said on his YouTube channel.

Moving ahead, Chopra selected Ravindra Jadeja ahead of Dwayne Bravo at No. 6. Further, he picked Imran Tahir and Piyush Chawla as the other two spinners and Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur as the team's main pacer.

"Because MS Dhoni likes to go with 7 bowling options, we will have to go with Ravindra Jadeja at No.6. He is doing very well but in this season he will have to do much more as a batsman, he will have a lot of responsibility on him. Earlier he used to play a supporting role, this time he will have to do the lead role for CSK."

"At No.7, I have got Dwayne Bravo. He is coming in good form from the CPL. You also have the option of playing Sam Curran instead of him as an all-rounder option.

"At No.8, it could be Mitchell Santner or Imran Tahir. May be we will have to go with Tahir else there would be two left-arm spinners.

"At No.9, I have got Piyush Chawla. They have paid a lot for him and they will have to play him ahead of Karn Sharma. And he will bat a bit as well.

"At No.10, I have got Deepak Chahar. He bowls well with the new ball in the powerplay. He takes a lot of wickets. Coming back after injury and COVID, the hope is that he will only move forward and not look behind.

"At No.11, I have got Shardul Thakur. You will have to play him with Harbhajan not being available, in case they had wanted to play more spin," Aakash added.

In the end, Aakash Chopra predicted that CSK will qualify for the playoffs and Ravindra Jadeja will be their best performer this season.

"I feel they will qualify for the playoffs even with all these things that have happened. And I am going to go with Ravindra Jadeja as their top performer for this IPL. He will bowl, he will field and I think he is going to bat well also this time."

Earlier this week, BCCI released the IPL 2020 fixtures and it was confirmed that Super Kings will face defending champions Mumbai Indians in the tournament opener on September 19 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Aakash Chopra's ideal CSK playing XI:

Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Faf du Plessis, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Imran Tahir, Piyush Chawla, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur



By Salman Anjum - 09 Sep, 2020

    Share Via