The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) struggled last season. Their opening combination was one of their weaknesses. They tried out options like Sam Curran, Shane Watson, Murali Vijay, Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and N. Jagadeesan. CSK finally settled on the pair of Gaikwad and Du Plessis. Heading into this season CSK might explore other opening pair which can provide stability and explosiveness in equal measure.
StumpsandBails brings to you 7 different opening combinations CSK can explore this season:
#1 Faf du Plessis and Moeen Ali
The right-hand, left-hand combination of Faf du Plessis and Moeen Ali might be an ideal opening pair for CSK. Ali will bring an added dynamism to the side. Du Plessis will complement Ali beautifully at the top.
#2 Faf du Plessis and Robin Uthappa
Robin Uthappa is in solid ball-striking form. He was one of the stars of the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. He can provide an ideal foil to Du Plessis at the top. The experience of this pair will provide a stable base for CSK.
#3 Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad
The du Plessis-Gaikwad combination worked well for CSK in the later stages of IPL 2020. They complement each other beautifully at the top. Gaikwad’s youthful exuberance will galvanise CSK’s unit coupled with du Plessis’s experience.
#4 Robin Uthappa and Moeen Ali
This can probably be the most left-field call CSK might look to take. The pair of Uthappa and Ali can prove to be the ideal dashing combination CSK are looking for.
#5 Robin Uthappa and Sam Curran
CSK can utilise the explosiveness of Sam Curran right at the top. He might be given a free hand to express himself. Uthappa’s game will be the perfect match for Curran’s talent.
#6 Faf du Plessis and Ambati Rayudu
Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu were CSK’s preferred opening combination in 2018. It was the year where CSK emerged champions. Rayudu can go hammer and tongs right from ball one. He and Du Plessis can lay down a strong platform for CSK’s middle-order to capitalise on.
#7 Cheteshwar Pujara and Robin Uthappa
The domestic giants will be eager to prove a point in this IPL. Cheteshwar Pujara has not played in IPL since 2014. He will be keen to make his mark with CSK. Pujara can only play as an opener for CSK. Who better to partner him at the top other than Uthappa. This will be a pair to watch out for.