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)

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 4, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Leeds

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (19:30 IST)   at Kingstown, St Vincent

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 6, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 7, 2014 (19:30 IST)   at Birmingham

More

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 2, 2014  at Harare

Australia won by 62 runs

India tour of England 2014

Sep 2, 2014  at Birmingham

India won by 9 wkts

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014  at Harare

Zimbabwe won by 3 wkts

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Dambulla

SL won by 7 wkts (D/L method)

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Nottingham

India won by 6 wkts

Photos

India vs England, 4th ODI at Edgbaston

Videos

Misbah disppointed with Pakistan's performance

India’s ODI series triumphs outside Asia — a statistical review

Ajinkya Rahane strengthens his case to open in ODIs; but will Rohit Sharma’s return push him back to No 4?

India vs England 2014, 4th ODI: Highlights

Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan complete comprehensive series win for India with 9-wicket win in 4th ODI

Mitchell Marsh records highest strike rate in an ODI innings for Australia against South Africa

Australia Australia and South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 Australia vs Zimbabwe England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan South Africa Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014 Zimbabwe vs Australia

ICC World Cup 2015: Visitors will only need to apply for one visa

Shikhar Dhawan: ODI series win in England huge confidence booster ahead of ICC World Cup 2015

an Botham, Graeme Swann livid with England’s performance

Shikhar Dhawan credits Team India and Ravi Shastri for good show in 4th ODI against England at Edgbaston

MS Dhoni lauds team India after their ODI series victory against England

Tillakaratne Dilshan, Tony Grieg, Vinoo Mankad and other cricketers who made it to the cricket lexicon

Johnny Won’t Hit Today – The tale of JWHT Douglas

14 greatest upsets in ODIs — Part 1

Faf du Plessis shows his grit with twin tons against Australia in Zimbabwe Triangular Series

India’s ODI series triumphs outside Asia — a statistical review

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

628 Posts | 7 Fans

Thilan Samaraweera finds an unusual way to get stumped

Maruti Suzuki Ciaz launch: Price expected to start from Rs 7 lakh

India vs England: Ian Botham and Graeme Swann slams hosts for embarrassing ODI display

Living in an abusive relationship – when is it time to quit?

MS Dhoni says Indian batting has improved in ODIs

International programme in Animal Husbandry

HTC doubles free Google Drive storage from 50GB to 100GB in select smartphones for new and existing users

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan confident to eradicate kala-azar by 2015

Anushka Sharma or Kareena Kapoor Khan: Who makes a better bride?

Dharmendra’s Double Di Trouble a big success

NGOs pursue education for all

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here