Coach Stephen Fleming, being sincere enough to admit that the off- field issues cannot simply be washed away and are a big distraction for the team, which under normal circumstances can be seen as a bow moving towards its aim. CSK led by Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni can clearly be called one of the most stable teams in the IPL, even after the spot-fixing controversy which rattled it.
However, Chennai will miss its most well grounded stars this year including Australian mainstay Michael Hussey and South African Albie Morkel, after losing them in the players' auction. But there's no sweat for the team with the replacements like New Zealand Brendan McCullum and South African Faf du Plessis.
Whereas, on the bowling front, West Indian leg-spinner Samuel Badree will prove to be a significant player given that his confidence is sky-high after finishing third wicket-taker in the recent World T20.
Players: Mithun Manhas, Suresh Raina, Brendon McCullum, MS Dhoni, Baba Aparajith, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Smith, Vijay Shankar, Samuel Badree, Mohit Sharma, Ashish Nehra, Ben Hilfenhauz, Ravichandran Ashwin, Pawan Negi, Ronit More, Matt Henry, Faf du Plessis, Ishwar Pandey, John Hastings, Dwayne Bravo.
Kings XI Punjab
Up against Chennai Super Kings are the Kings from Punjab whose franchise till last year seemed to have lost in the celebrity event. The team, however, has managed to burnish to the side by making some smart grabs in the players' auction led by Australian George Bailey. The Kings pulled off quite a masterstroke by nipping up Virender Sehwag even though he is no longer in his prime, the Delhi-dasher could prove to be a game-changer capable of suppressing the opposition attacks.
The KXIP also purchased Mitchell Johnson, the Australian speedster who is in form and is likely to be worth every one of the Rs. 6.5 crore that were splurged on him during the auction. Australian batsman Shaun Marsh was also brought back by the Kings XI Punjab. Fitness-permitting, he has a fair track record in the IPL and could prove to be a crucial spine in the KXIP's back.
Players: Glenn Maxwell, Rishi Dhawan, Karanveer Singh, Mitchell Johnson, Beuran Hendricks, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sandeep Sharma, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Virender Sehwag, Amndeep Singh, Parvinder Awana, Anureet Singh, Akshar Patel, Shaun Marsh, George Bailey, Gurkeerat Singh, Mandeep Singh, Thisara Perera, David Miller, Wriddhiman Saha, Manan Vohral.
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