MS Dhoni's side boast of a potent spin attack - featuring the likes of Piyush Chawla, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir and Ravindra Jadeja - that will be lethal in the friendly UAE conditions.
CSK also have a well-rounded fast bowling lineup - Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Sam Curran and Lungi Ngidi. This is, of course, apart from their batting lineup that is as strong as ever, and has a host of players intent on proving a point.
Players CSK might regret releasing ahead of IPL 2020
I want to thank everyone involved @chennaiipl for 2 absolutely incredible years; winning the iplt20 & then runners up. I learnt so much and loved every minute.— Sam Billings (@sambillings) November 15, 2019
This franchise has a very special place in my heart,… https://t.co/NDXpkEf4Xd
Ahead of the 2020 IPL, we take a look at 3 players from the 2019 squad who CSK might regret letting go of.
#3 Mohit Sharma
Mohit Sharma made a return to the CSK side in the 2019 season, and was bought for INR 5 crores in the auction that year. However, with only 1 game to his name and 1 wicket under his belt, the Haryana pacer was released ahead of the 2020 IPL season and was bought by the Delhi Capitals.
Mohit played for CSK between 2013 and 2015, and even won the Purple Cap in 2014 after picking up 23 wickets. The 31-year-old has a thorough understanding of the system at CSK and works well with captain MS Dhoni. Moreover, his vast repertoire of slower balls might prove to be very effective in the UAE.
Mohit's veteran status will have also come in handy. Apart from Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur, CSK's other Indian pace bowling options are KM Asif and Monu Singh, both of whom are highly inexperienced at the IPL level.
CSK might come to regret their decision to release Mohit Sharma.
#2 Sam Billings
Sam Billings has shown immense promise for every team he has played for, but his displays haven't quite been consistent enough to warrant him a regular spot both in the IPL and at the international level.
Even for CSK, the Englishman flattered to deceive. He scored a match-winning 23-ball 56 against the Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2018 IPL but didn't back it up with too many eye-catching displays, scoring just 108 runs in 10 matches. And although Billings was a fan favourite at CSK, he was released ahead of this IPL auction.
With Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis in the twilight of their careers, CSK are left without an overseas top-order batsman who could step in in case of a dip in form. Billings' versatility and excellent fielding would have also strengthened his case for a spot in the XI.
The wicket-keeper withdrew his name from the 2020 IPL auction soon after his release, citing the need to focus on county cricket and his England career.
On a personal level, I have chosen to pull out of any franchise cricket this winter as well to focus/freshen up for a big year with @KentCricket . Very fortunate to have played all over the last few years & a break from the game to refresh I feel is the best decision 👍🏼 (2/2)— Sam Billings (@sambillings) December 13, 2019
#1 David Willey
David Willey played 3 games in CSK in the 2018 IPL with average returns, and pulled out of the last campaign citing personal reasons. However, despite numbers not favouring the Englishman, he could've proved to be a valuable asset for CSK, either in the first-choice XI or as a backup.
Sam Curran, signed by CSK for a hefty sum recently, is an all-rounder of a similar mould of Willey, but it can be argued that the latter is better than the death. With pinpoint yorkers and a decent slower ball, the 30-year-old could have served as a backup for Curran at the very least.
Morever, the left-armer was incredible in the recently-concluded ODI series against Ireland. Apart from scores of 47 and 51*, Willey picked up a 5-wicket haul to take Eoin Morgan's side to a 2-1 series victory.
With Dwayne Bravo's form in recent IPL seasons under the scanner, the Men in Yellow could have used a player like Willey.
Also Read: England vs Pakistan 1st Test: Player Ratings