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)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 24, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 25, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

World T20 League 2014

Sep 26, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 26, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 27, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 23, 2014  at Raipur

Hobart Hurricanes won by 86 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 22, 2014  at Bengaluru

Chennai Super Kings won by 54 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 4 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014  at Hyderabad

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 4 wkts

Photos

Cobras vs Hurricanes Match 6 at Hyderabad

Videos

Daniel Flynn looks ahead to Hobart game

Alastair Cook can’t handle Kevin Pietersen, says Geoffrey Boycott

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights, CLT20 2014 Match 9 at Raipur: Highlights

Live Cricket Score Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 9: Hurricanes register massive 86-run win

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Perth Scorchers CLT20 2014 Match 9: Preview

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 CSK vs Dolphins Dolphins Hobart Hurricanes Incheon Asian Games India at Asian Games 2014 Lahore Lions

Kerala Cricket Association opts out of seeking tax exemption on ticket sales during India-West Indies ODI

Wasim Akram: Hyderabad is like a second home for KKR

Alastair Cook set to discover his fate as England’s ODI captain

Ben Laughlin’s terrific catch in Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 match

Ashley Giles and other players carry 24 spare balls to play T20 match at Mount Kilimanjaro summit

Cheteshwar Pujara and other batsmen given out handling the ball

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights, CLT20 2014 Match 9 at Raipur: Highlights

Cricket in Canada: Coach Mukesh Narula travels around the vast nation to train players

Australia on the verge of handing out 50 Test caps in a decade!

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights, Match 9, CLT20 2014: Key Clashes

Fan of the Day

Edward Knowles

Edward Knowles

447 Posts | 1 Fans

Video: Brendon McCullum's amazing fielding in CSK vs Dolphins CLT20 2014 match

Scared you’ll lose your job? It might be the reason for your frequent asthma attacks

Xiaomi offering free micro-SIM card trays to Mi 3 owners

Updated Retina iPad mini and 12.9-inch iPad Pro delayed till 2015: Report

इन खाद्द पदार्थों के द्वारा किडनी को स्वस्थ रखें

Here’s why the Bigg Boss 8 Secret Society is a big flop!

Bigg Boss 8: Sushant Divgikar hopes to sensitise TV viewers to LGBT cause via Salman Khan’s show

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here