New Delhi: Come the Indian Premier League, and Chennai Super Kings are the obvious favourites for the title and this year also it won't be any different. The reason for their consistent run in the league is retaining their key players who consciously make an attempt to do well for their team.
During the February auction this year, CSK strengthened their squad by buying five bowlers - Dirk Nannes, Chris Morris, Ben Laughlin, Akila Dananjaya and Jason Holder. It was their bowling which looked weaker and with these acquisitions they would be a pretty balanced side in the sixth edition.
At the top of the order, Chennai have Murali Vijay who is in great touch after a successful Test series against Australia and most likely will be re-partnered with Michael Hussey at the top (Anirudha Srikkanth is another option). That is followed by Suresh Raina, S Badrinath, Dwayne Bravo, MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja, each of whom has left a mark on CSK's fortunes down the years.
It will also be interesting to watch exciting young talents like Baba Aparajith and Imtiaz Ahmed if at all Chennai think of blooding them at some time in IPL 6. At the bowling front, Chennai have few big names with Dirk Nannes, Ben Hilfenhaus, Nuwan Kulasekara and the spin department taken care of by R Ashwin, Sadab Jakati and Jadeja.
More or less, Chennai are a balanced side with all the boxes ticked but they need to find the right combination after the initial few matches. However, skipper Dhoni may face the problem of plenty with only 11 players making the side, but that's a positive problem to worry about.
Key players: Michael Hussey, Faf du Plessis, Murali Vijay, MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja
Players Retained: Albie Morkel, Ben Hilfenhaus, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Michael Hussey, Nuwan Kulasekara, MS Dhoni, Murali Vijay, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Shadab Jakati, Anirudha Srikkanth, S Badrinath, Suresh Raina, Wriddhiman Saha (wk)
Players Dropped: Doug Bollinger, George Bailey, Yo Mahesh, G Vignesh, Scott Styris, Joginder Sharma, K Vasudevadas, Suraj Randiv, Abhinav Mukund, Sudeep Tyagi
Players Bought: Dirk Nannes ($600,000), Chris Morris ($625,000), Ben Laughlin ($20,000), Akila Dananjaya ($20,000), Jason Holder ($20,000)
Foreign Players: Akila Dananjaya, Albie Morkel, Ben Hilfenhaus, Ben Laughlin, Christopher Morris, Dirk Nannes, Dwayne Bravo, Francois Du Plessis, Jason Holder, Michael Hussey, Nuwan Kulasekara
Domestic Players: Anirudha Srikkanth, Ankit Singh Rajpoot, B Aparajith, Imtiaz Ahmed, Mohit Sharma, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Murali Vijay, R Karthikeyan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ronit More, Shadab Jakati, S Badrinath, Suresh Raina, Vijay Shankar, Wriddhiman Saha