Chennai Super Kings finished their IPL 2020 campaign on a bright note but it was a disappointing season for the three-time IPL winners. In the history of 13 years of the IPL, it was for the first time that MS Dhoni-led CSK failed to qualify for the IPL playoffs. With six wins in 14 games, CSK ended in seventh place, only above Rajasthan Royals in the points table 2020.
After a poor run in IPL 2020, the CSK management has expressed the need to revamp their squad ahead of IPL 2021. However, MS Dhoni will continue to lead the side for at least another season in the IPL. In the second half of the tournament, it was quite evident that CSK was keen to try out a few youngsters and give them some game time while they eye the IPL auction in 2021.
While it is still not confirmed if BCCI will plan to host a mega auction in IPL 2021, we take a look at 5 players CSK will retain in any case ahead of IPL 2021:
1. MS Dhoni
Despite a poor IPL 2020 by his standards, MS Dhoni will continue as skipper for CSK in IPL 2021. Popularly known as Thala, fans would hope that the Ranchi-born player has another rollicking IPL left in him in the CSK colors. Dhoni has been around ever since the inception of the IPL 2008 but the upcoming IPL season will a new challenge after he already bid adieu to international cricket.
With IPL 2021 just a few months away, CSK will hope that Dhoni can turn it around for the team in a quick span of time. He might have scored only 200 runs this IPL but it will be his experience which will be the key for CSK in IPL 2021.
MS Dhoni IPL 2020 stats
2. Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja is a complete package for every team that he plays for. Even in IPL 2020, Jadeja was one of the key positives for CSK despite a below-average season for the franchise. While CSK's batting was awful throughout the season, Jadeja took up the finishers' role and played it to great perfection in helping his team cross the line on a couple of occasions. He has improved by leaps and bounds as a batsman and is a livewire on the field on any day.
Looking at his current form and what he brings to the table as an all-rounder, CSK would surely retain Jadeja before IPL 2021. He is one of CSK's core players in the IPL and would be a great asset even in 2021. However, the all-rounder would love to sharpen his skills with the ball, especially in the shortest format of the game.
Ravindra Jadeja IPL 2020 stats
3. Sam Curran
Sam Curran was drafted into the CSK IPL squad in the 2020 auction. The seam-bowling all-rounder played every match and contributed both the bat and ball in hand. He attained huge respect in the eyes of CSK management as someone who can go on to serve CSK for many more years to come. In IPL 2021, CSK might look to retain Curran as one of the core members of their IPL squad.
He's prolific in his job and has shown his ability to contribute in various situations in the match. In 2020, Curran opened the batting, batted in the middle-order, bowled in the death overs, and even took the new ball. Looking at his multi-dimensional role as a T20 player, CSK would definitely not take the gamble of releasing such a prized asset.
Sam Curran IPL 2020 stats
4. Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad has been one of the finds for CSK in IPL 2020. Gaikwad started his season on an unfortunate note after being tested positive and didn't get enough opportunities to make it to the playing XI. Even when he got a chance in the middle-order, it was a string of low scores in the first three matches that saw him ruled out of the contention of making his way back into the XI.
However, once CSK lost all hopes of qualifying for the playoffs, Gaikwad was given a run at the top of the order as an opener. It was indeed a perfect match for the youngster who went on smash three consecutive half-centuries to help his team claim victory in each of the three fixtures. The 23-year old claimed three consecutive Man of Match awards and certainly sealed a hope to be retained in the CSK squad for IPL 2021.
Ruturaj Gaikwad IPL 2020 stats
5. Faf Du Plessis
Faf Du Plessis has been part of the CSK set up since IPL 2011 and considering his exploits in 2020, it won't be surprising if continues even in IPL 2021. Faf was the IPL 2020 leading run-scorer for CSK and has been a consistent performer for the ‘Men in Yellow' over the years. Even at 36, the Proteas skipper packs a punch as one of the fittest players in the side. Along with Jadeja, Faf is found stationed at some of the hotspots in the field. While the entire batting unit was a failure in 2020, Faf continued his rich vein of form and kept scoring runs at the top of the order for CSK.
Faf Du Plessis IPL 2020 stats