Home > Features >

IPL 2014: Chennai Super Kings’ bowling attack may present problems for MS Dhoni

Chennai Super Kings's Indian bowling contingent doesn't look strong this season © IANS (File Photo)
Chennai Super Kings’s Indian bowling contingent doesn’t look strong this season © IANS (File Photo)

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have been the best team in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL). They have won the IPL twice and finished as runners-up on three occasions. But after one game in IPL 2014, MS Dhoni’s side doesn’t look strong to scale those heights. Shrikant Shankar explains why the bowling may affect Chennai.

After the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 auction, it seemed that Chennai Super Kings (CSK) did not make the best purchases to win the competition. They let players like Michael Hussey and Albie Morkel go. These are players who have helped them win two IPL titles. Chennai made some buys in the auction, but the Kings XI Punjab were the ones who stole the show. Chennai are the best team in IPL history. Apart from winning two titles, they have finished as runners-up on three occasions. They have also finished in the top four in every season. That is some record!

This time though, Chennai may not be strong enough to scale those heights. Some may feel that this is a knee-jerk reaction after their loss against Punjab on April 18. But a close look at their squad, in fact into their bowling line-up will reflect problems. Chennai amassed 205 runs for the loss of only four wickets against Punjab. Their batting is not an issue. Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum were two good buys in the auction and both scored half-centuries. Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni also scored quick runs. But their bowling could not stop Punjab from cruising to victory in only 18.5 overs.

Looking at Punjab’s match against Rajasthan Royals on April 20, one can come to the conclusion that George Bailey’s team are brilliant chasers. But, Chennai would introspect to find that the bowling is certainly a worry. Their Indian bowling contingent is not the best in the IPL this season. While Ravichandan Ashwin is a very good bowler for Chennai and Ravindra Jadeja can be relied upon from time to time, one cannot exude confidence looking at the rest of the unit.

Chennai have a few good options in their bowling armoury, but the best of the lot are foreigners. With only four available, Dhoni’s team is forced to play the likes of McCullum, Smith, du Plessis and Dwayne Bravo. This leaves no option in the bowling attack. Smith was the only foreigner to bowl against Punjab and he is not a regular bowler. The options Chennai have are New Zealand fast-medium bowler Matt Henry, Australian seamers John Hastings and Ben Hilfenhaus and West Indies’ Samuel Badree.

Some of them are quality options to try out, but the big question: Which big-name will they drop? Bravo finished as the leading wicket-taker in the IPL 2013 season. But he didn’t bowl against Punjab. In fact, he did not bowl during the ICC World T20 2014 as he was carrying a side strain. Ashish Nehra did better than the others against Punjab, but he has a tendency of being expensive. Mohit Sharma took an absolute pounding against the likes of Glenn Maxwell and David Miller. He had a good season with Chennai last year, but a year later, the teams have had a fair look at him and know what he can do.

Pawan Negi is a young spinner and it will take him time to develop and become better. In the Indian contingent, Chennai are left with only Ishwar Pandey and Ronit More to come in as viable replacements. Bowling is definitely a concern and if the batting continues to do well, Chennai would rather chase than set scores!

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule: Match time table for IPL 7

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule & Results

Click here for IPL 2014 complete coverage

(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Colombo

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wkts

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 87 runs

Photos

Australia vs South Africa, 3rd ODI at Canberra

Videos

SL vs Eng: Buttler practices wicketkeeping in nets

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 2nd ODI at Chittagong: Highlights

Australia vs South Africa 2014, 5th ODI at Sydney: Highlights

Quinton de Kock’s century in vain as Australia register two wicket win over South Africa

Saeed Ajmal: 99 per cent bowlers will fail 15 degree test

Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque register second-highest opening partnership for Bangladesh in ODIs

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 India New Zealand Pakistan South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Sri Lanka vs England 2014: Moeen Ali, Alastair Cook’s form bodes well, says Mark Ramprakash

Mithali Raj: India women confident ahead of ODI series against South Africa

Sri Lanka vs England 2014: England’s 2nd practice match washed out

Bangladesh bring up 100th win in international cricket

India vs Cricket Australia XI, 1st Tour Game Preview: India eye good warm-up to kick-off tour Down Under

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 2nd ODI at Chittagong: Highlights

Australia vs South Africa 2014, 5th ODI at Sydney: Highlights

Saeed Ajmal: 99 per cent bowlers will fail 15 degree test

Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque register second-highest opening partnership for Bangladesh in ODIs

ICC World Cup 2015: Australia in risk of overkill

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

681 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli vs Australian cricketers

Bigg Boss 8 highlights: Nigaar Khan leaves the house, says she is shocked by Gautam Gulati and Puneet Issar’s hatred towards her!

How many calories do bananas have?

Katrina Kaif beats Deepika Padukone to win Maxim India’s HOT 100 list, 2014!

Sri Lanka vs England 2014: Moeen Ali, Alastair Cook’s form bodes well, says Mark Ramprakash

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

5 smart tricks to make your grocery shopping healthy

Mithali Raj: India women confident ahead of ODI series against South Africa

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here