Chennai Super Kings (CSK) supporters, excited for another season with their favorite “Thala,” are ecstatic that the team has retained MS Dhoni for the forthcoming IPL 2024 auction.
But in the 2023 Indian Premier League, MS Dhoni struggled with his fitness. He played with one knee and eventually needed knee surgery. Since the IPL is the only competitive cricket Dhoni plays during the year. So it is still unclear to what degree he will be a match fit for the 2024 edition of the Indian Premier League.
The Chennai team needs to get the correct squad balance for the 2019 season if they are to keep their title. While other title contenders are sure to bolster their roster. As a result, CSK will consider their possibilities for an understudy to Dhoni behind the stumps in the IPL 2024 auction with a view towards the future.
CSK’s strategy for IPL 2024 Auction
At IPL auctions, CSK is famous for taking big risks, and most of the time, those risks have paid off.
When the first IPL Auction took place in 2008, the Chennai Super Kings made a brilliant move. Refusing to give in to the temptation of a superstar player, CSK chose to save their cash to place a then-record bid of US$ 1.5 million for a single MS Dhoni. The rest is history.
Except for the veteran Ambati Rayadu, who retired following the season’s final, CSK has kept every member of their regular starting XI from the IPL 2023, their most recent title-winning campaign.
Explosive batsman Shahrukh Khan is a resident of Chennai. It gives the CSK management even more motivation to continue forward with the deal. CSK has a history of following up on players they have missed at auctions.
Because he can be a useful sixth bowler, Daryl Mitchell also makes an intriguing selection. Also, the squad now has room for a fast-bowling all-round player due to the departures of Kyle Jamieson and Dwayne Pretorius. But after his World Cup heroics, Mitchell won’t come cheap.
Former CSK players Shardul Thakur and Josh Hazlewood can both be great choices. They will also be up for bid at the highest base price of INR 2 crore. When CSK won the title in 2021, Thakur was their leading wicket-taker. Given his IPL track record, Harshal Patel might be a further player the CSK strategists investigate. Additionally, here are the 3 players CSK might target as MS Dhoni’s backup for the IPL 2024 auction.
MS Dhoni’s Backup: 3 Players CSK Might Target | IPL 2024 Auction
1. Narayan Jagadeesan
Lately, Narayan Jagadeesan has emerged as one of Tamil Nadu’s most prolific scorers in domestic cricket. Before being acquired by Kolkata Knight Riders, he also spent a considerable amount of time as MS Dhoni’s backup on the CSK team. After only managing to score 89 runs in his six matches, KKR decided to release him for the IPL 2024 auction.
With a respectable record in Twenty20 cricket, he is a very secure wicketkeeper behind the stumps. He has scored 1195 runs in 59 matches, including six fifties. In addition to starting the inning, he has filled in as a finisher when necessary. Additionally, Jagadeesan’s return to CSK may be aided by the fact that MS Dhoni has had close contact with him during their time together at CSK.
2. KS Bharat
KS. Bharat has played for multiple IPL teams. But he has been warming the bench role for plenty of those teams. He made his debut in the IPL 2021 for RCB, making 191 runs in 8 games. That includes a match-winning knock of 78. But in the IPL 2022, Gujarat Titans acquired him when RCB released him. Bharat played only two games for them though, as Wriddhiman Saha and Matthew Wade were already the preferred names for the GT management.
He has scored 1266 runs in 74 T20 matches. But his strike rate of 110.85 stands out poorly. He has shown a penchant for quick scoring with RCB and is a very reliable keeper. He can do well on the Chepauk’s surface behind the stumps, and CSK might use him in the spot of Ambati Rayudu in the middle order.
3. Sam Billings
In the IPL, Sam Billings has had respectable stats and has also played for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK). With the best of 56 and a 130 strike rate in 30 games, he has scored 503 runs. His 23-ball 56 during the 2018 Indian Premier League helped CSK chase down 203 runs in Chennai, an innings-long effort that will never be forgotten.
Due to obligations in England, he briefly departed the IPL. But now that he’s out of the England team’s plans for any format, CSK is to pursue Billings once more in the IPL 2024 auction. In addition to being a strong finisher of games, he is a superb goalie. These attributes will come in useful when MS Dhoni retires.