The most consistent team across all seasons of the IPL, Chennai Super Kings would look to put behind the off-field distractions and do what they are best at when they take on previous edition’s bottom-placed Delhi Daredevils in their opening match of the Twent20 league here on Thursday.
The Super Kings were hounded by the spot-fixing scandal, in which their Team Principal Gurunath Meiyappan was indicted by a Supreme Court-monitored probe committee last year.
But the team, which has made the last four in each of the previous seven Indian Premier League seasons, including four straight final appearances and two titles, still managed to reach the second qualifier.
This edition is expected to be no different as they start afresh under the able leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Coach Stephen Fleming once again.
Such has been their might that three years without a title is being considered a trophy drought and they would look to bounce back and silence the critics.
They have managed to retain the nucleus of the side and have invested in Irfan Pathan, Michael Hussey, Kyle Abott, Rahul Sharma.
Boosted by the presence of New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum, who had a fabulous World Cup recently, and Dwayne Smith at the top of the order, CSK should not face any problem getting off a swift start.
The middle order too, looks all settled with the likes of Suresh Raina, Hussey, Dhoni, Dwayne Bravo in the ranks. In case, these big names fail to fire, CSK have all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin down the order to finish the job with the bat.
As far as their bowling is concerned, the presence of Jadeja and Ashwin in spin department is a big plus, while pace bowlers Kyle Abbott, new import Matt Henry from New Zealand and Mohit Sharma are capable seamers. Besides all-rounder Dwayne Bravo have shown variations of pace, furious hitting and swift fielding that has swung matches for CSK in the past.