CSK’s Road To IPL 2024: Who Will Replace Devon Conway, And Will Overseas Stars Play The Entire Season?

CSK’s Road To IPL 2024: Who Will Replace Devon Conway, And Will Overseas Stars Play The Entire Season?

The talking points for Chennai Super Kings ahead of IPL 2024 as they start as the defending champions.

Aayushman VishwanathanUpdated: Tuesday, March 12, 2024, 04:55 PM IST
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CSK are the defending champions. | (Credits: Twitter)

Defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are one of the most decorated teams in history and have always been one of those star-studded franchises. The 2023 edition saw the Yellow Army clinch their 5th title, beating Gujarat Titans in a heart-stopping two-day final in Ahmedabad. Marking his return will be the captain MS Dhoni, with speculations running strong about whether it will be his last season.

The Super Kings also had a fairly productive auction in December. Their buys include the likes of Daryl Mitchell, Rachin Ravindra, Sameer Rizvi, Mustafizur Rahman, Shardul Thakur, and Avinash Rao Aravelly. They shelled out an enormous ₹14 crore on all-rounder Daryl Mitchell, driven by sensational 2023 World Cup campaign.

Strong Indian core:

The Super Kings have a strong Indian core across facets as MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shivam Dube, Ajinkya Rahane, Deepak Chahar, Tushar Deshpande, and Shardul Thakur are proven match-winners. However, Rahane's recent form could make him struggle to retain a spot in the starting XI.

With Sameer Rizvi fetching ₹8.40 crore after an intense bidding war, he could find himself playing in the middle-order. Mukesh Choudhary and Prashant Solanki are equally promising talents and could make up the next generation of players in the CSK.

Devon Conway's absence a big blow:

Devon Conway will be a massive miss for the Super Kings as he is set to undergo surgery for his thumb. Conway forged a formidable opening partnership with Gaikwad at the top in IPL 2023 and will most likely miss the first two matches and might even sit out the entire season.

However, Rachin Ravindra has looked promising in the white-ball arena and is capable of fulfilling Conway's void at the top, evidenced by his success in the 2023 World Cup.

Will the top overseas play in the full season?

The Super Kings have overseas players, who are also the first-choice players for their own country. Daryl Mitchell Mitchell Santner, and Devon Conway form the core of New Zealand's T20I side. Matheesha Pathirana and Maheesha Theekshana are also Sri Lanka's backbone.

Moeen Ali, meanwhile, could most likely leave the CSK camp midway as England's four-game T20I series against Pakistan begins on May 22nd.

Big season for India's fringe players:

The likes of Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shivam Dube, Deepak Chahar, and Shardul Thakur must pull their weight in IPL 2024, with the T20 World Cup looming. Gaikwad and Dube stormed into contention with recent performances against Australia and Afghanistan, respectively, but may need to have more consistent outings to go ahead in the pecking order.

Chahar has had fitness issues for quite a while, rendering him unavailable for all matches in an IPL season. With Mohammed Shami likley ruled out of the T20 World Cup, Chahar has the opportunity to partner Jasprit Bumrah for the new ball in the World Cup and give close competition to Mohammed Siraj.

It remains unclear whether Shardul Thakur fits in India's plans despite the penchant for being the game-changer with both bat and ball. Similar impactful performances in IPL 2024 could place him in the radar for T20 World Cup selection. But their deadline only remains till May 1st when the ICC expects all the boards to name their respective squads.

CSK will play the opening match of IPL 2023 against the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Chepauk.

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