The Chennai Super Kings who won the title last year are undoubtedly one of the most successful franchises in the history of IPL. Be it good batsmen at all positions, bowlers and fielders, they’ve had it all most of whom have displayed tremendous abilities on the cricket pitch since times immemorial.
Even in this year’s IPL auction, the CSK side did a pretty good job in drafting in a fair amount of good players which in turn have made their squad a quite decent one that has several options to fill in a particular spot in the playing XI. Despite losing some of its key players who played an important role in their last triumph, the super kings look all set to lift up their rhythm right from the spot where they left it back in the IPL 2021.
Like most other franchises even CSK shall be looking forward to a good opening pair that provides them with blistering starts in each game so as to strengthen their grip over another IPL trophy. Their openers have been a major key to their success over the last few seasons. Hence the first step for the franchise in the way to rebuild their team after the mega auction shall be to find out a good opening combination just like they did in the majority of the seasons in the past.
Given below are three of the most possible opening pairs that CSK could be using in this IPL season:-
1. Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway
The first possible combination that CSK might try out in this IPL season is of Ruturaj Gaikwad along with the newly added wicketkeeper-batsman, Devon Conway.
The 30-year-old Kiwi who had been added to the squad by Chennai at his base price of 2 crore INR is a classy top-order batsman who has shown pretty good abilities in the white-ball formats in the past for his national side.
2021 was a dream year for Devon Conway and it changed his career for the good. He started impressing first with the Test format and slowly made his way into the other formats as well. He preformed well in the first half of the 2021 T20 World Cup but sadly missed the latter part of it owing to an injury. He can proof the a great asset for Chennai Super Kings.
As we mentioned, he made his T20I debut in 2020 and shall be a good option to go with for Chennai. Meanwhile, Ruturaj who had been retained ahead of the mega auction shall perhaps be the automatic first-choice opener for his side along with Conway.
Ruturaj Gaikwad (IPL stats):-
Matches :-22, Runs – 839 , Average – 46.6 , Strike Rate – 132.1
Devon Conway (All T20 stats):-
Matches – 111, Runs – 3668 , Average – 44.7, Strike Rate – 128.6
2. Ruturaj Gaikwad and Moeen Ali
Another special option for the yellow army shall be to assemble Moeen Ali with the task of opening the innings along with Ruturaj Gaikwad. Both these players had been retained by the side after their fine performances in the previous edition of the league.
Moreover, Moeen Ali has the first-hand experience of opening the batting on multiple occasions both for CSK and his national team in T20 internationals. His ability to bat with a high strike rate at any position in the batting order might provide CSK with swift and free-flowing starts in almost each of their games against any opposition bowling lineup.
In 2021. Moeen Ali was one of Chennai’s best middle order batters but as Faf du Plessis is not in their squad anymore, this might be the best chance for Moeen Ali to rise up the ranks and open alongside Ruturaj Gaikwad.
An already experienced and pretty efficient duo of Moen and Ruturaj might well be the combination CSK management is looking for in all circumstances.
Moeen Ali (IPL stats) :-
Matches – 34, Runs – 666 , Average – 23.0, Strike Rate – 146.4
3. Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ambati Rayudu
There might be a slight possibility of CSK thinking out of the box and promoting their hard-hitting middle-order batsman, Ambati Rayudu up in the batting order to open the batting with Ruturaj Gaikwad.
The 36-year-old Rayudu who was left out of the 4 retained players ahead of the IPL auction 2022 was picked up again by his former team during the auctions for a price of 7.75 crores INR. The fact that Ambati has played several crucial innings for the team in the past might provide the team management with the confidence to provide him with a new role in the batting lineup and see if he can live up to everybody’s expectations.
Thus the combination of Ruturaj and Rayudu also seems to fulfil the needs of the Chennai Super Kings in terms of providing them with a solid opening pair.
Ambati Rayudu (IPL stats) :-
Matches – 175 , Runs – 3916, Average – 29.4, Strike Rate – 127.5
Our Prediction: In spite of all of the above-mentioned batting pairs being highly probable and available to the Chennai Super Kings during the entire season, in our opinion, the most suitable opening pair of them all shall be one consisting of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Moeen Ali.
The fact that a fantastic looking Faf Du Plessis was included by Royal Challengers Bangalore in their team during this auction means that Chennai shall no longer have his consistent services available at their disposal like before. Ruturaj Gaikwad who won the orange cap in last year’s IPL has without a doubt cemented his position in one of the two opening slots available in the playing XI.
The fact that Moeen Ali has been of great use too for the Super Kings at the top of the order makes him a very suitable option to open the innings with Ruturaj Gaikwad. With all the experience and good form, the above-mentioned duo is pretty sure to make the impossible happen for CSK this year too as they lift their 5 IPL trophy just in case they provide this wonderful duo with an opportunity to bat together at the peak of the batting order.