Home > Features >

IPL 2014: Chennai Super Kings’ settled bowling line-up will thrive in India

Ravichandran Ashwin is a vital cog in CSK's setup © IANS (File Photo)
Ravichandran Ashwin is a vital cog in CSK’s setup © IANS (File Photo)

By R Vishal

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 returns to India with Ms Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) playing hosts to Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at Ranchi. The United Arab (UAE) adventure was a rather fun ride for the two-time IPL holders, breezing to four wins out of five games without really going full throttle in any of their games.

The hallmark of Chennai’s unparalleled success in the IPL has been an extemporary balance in the batting order which has the ingredients to make up a fantasy XI. After losing some of their reliable performers in this year’s auctions, the emphasis was not to unsettle the shape, balance and power of their batting line-up.

The less spoken bowling unit of Chennai has quietly gathered momentum and could well play an important role in taking the men in yellow far in IPL 7. After being clambered by Glenn Maxwell and company in their tournament opener against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), Dhoni has quickly zeroed in on a winning combination. Ravichandran Ashwin, the wily off-spinner’s bagful of variations leave batsmen in a state of trance. Ravindra Jadeja, who will bowl in tandem with Ashwin, will relish bowling his slow left-arm orthodox and the quicker ones in familiar surroundings.

After being taken apart by the Punjab batsmen, Mohit Sharma has picked himself up and displayed a string of consistent performances. Mohit’s crafty slower deliveries and impeccable line underlines the Haryana medium-pacer’s importance in this format. With Dhoni’s therapeutic man-management skills at his disposal, Mohit has seldom let down his captain and despite being unspectacular, Mohit is surely one to bank upon in Twenty20s (T20s). After a long wait in the wilderness, Ishwar Pandey has been Chennai’s surprise package and has impressed abundantly. Unlike Mohit, Ishwar relies on pace and a hint of bounce, and this is where the burly young man will be tested to the hilt.

Australian Ben Hilfenhaus has also been on target for the men in yellow, but their main concern will be the predictability factor, with Chennai being the only team to have not tinkered much with their team since the inception of the IPL. There is a glaring shortage of international experience in their bowling ranks too. Dwayne Bravo filled the shortcoming in the in the past admirably, but the West Indian all-rounder’s long term lay-off leaves a huge void. With the options on the bench being rookie New Zealand pacer Matt Henry and Australian John Hastings, a lot will ride on the frontline bowlers. It remains to be seen as to how much of a role veteran left-armer Ashish Nehra will be playing in  IPL 7.

With Chennai playing only two of their round-robin games at their fortress, M.A.Chidambaram Stadium, the bowlers will miss the sea of yellow flags that have thrived under. Ashwin and Jadeja in the subcontinent are more than handful, and with Dhoni continuing to extract match winning performances from his trusted aides; Chennai will remain as one of the favourites to lift the trophy.

Click here for IPL 2014 Points Table and Team Standings

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

(R Vishal is a journalist and alumni of Asian College of Journalism. He can be followed on Twitter @vishhell)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 10, 2014  at Dubai

Australia won by 5 wkts

Photos

India vs West Indies 4th ODI at Dharamsala

Videos

Pakistan A vs Australia, Day 4: Highlights

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: 5 memorable matches

Yasir Shah: The new spinning sensation for Pakistan

Virat Kohli takes wicket with the first (0th?) ball of his T20I career

Kevin Pietersen’s autobiography — a litany of complaints with a few redeeming patches

Banning West Indian players in IPL can affect the ‘Brand value’ of the event – Will BCCI take this gamble?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan 2014 BCCI India India vs West Indies India vs West Indies 2014 Pakistan Salaam Cricket South Africa West Indies West Indies cancel India tour 2014 West Indies tour of India 2014 West Indies vs India West Indies vs India 2014

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Peter Siddle says putting on weight helped to regain speed

South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014: Visitors eying No.1 spot in ICC ODI rankings

New Zealand vs South Africa, 1st ODI at Mount Maunganui Preview: South Africa aim to improve record at NZ

BCCI Working Committee meets tomorrow to discuss WI pullout

West Indies continue hunt for head coach

Virender Sehwag turns 36: Five most memorable innings of the Nawab of Najafgarh

New Zealand begin ICC World Cup 2015 preparations with 15 ODIs in store

Virender Sehwag paid birthday tribute to by Sophos Antivirus

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: 5 memorable matches

Yasir Shah: The new spinning sensation for Pakistan

Fan of the Day

Gautam Singh

Gautam Singh

474 Posts | 5 Fans

Video Highlights Mohammed Yousuf drops catch after watching a girl in bikini

अभिनेत्री हुमा कुरैशी ओरिफ्लेम की ब्रांड एंबेसडर

Has Bigg Boss 8 made Karishma Tanna the most hated person?

Pranab Mukherjee returns home after visit to Norway, Finland

Revealed: First look of Amitabh Bachchan-Farhan Akhtar’s Do!

7 reasons why having sex during pregnancy is great for your health

Videocon Infinium Graphite with gesture control feature launched, priced at Rs 10,499

Rupee up 19 paise against dollar in early trade

Twitter introduces Audio Cards to listen to music directly from your timeline

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here