Chennai Super kings. (Photo Source: BCCI/IPL)
The five-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) had an outstanding campaign during IPL 2023. After a horrible outing in 2022, the ‘Men in Yellow’ managed to bounce back by making sure that the team was covered on all bases. Thanks to the management, they seem to have all the bases covered for the next season as well. Notably, with the ODI World Cup, the dimensions have changed in the limited overs landscape.
There have been instances that have depicted major fitness issues amongst the big names in the circuit. Adding on, there have been new names that have stepped up to the occasion as well.
Now, as the franchises aim to build the perfect squad for the upcoming edition of the IPL, it is high time that the management releases the underperforming players. However, these tradeoffs are trickier than they look as the players might perform exceedingly well.
Let’s have a look at the three players CSK might release ahead of IPL 2024:
3. Sisanda Magala
Magala. (Photo Source: BCCI/IPL)
Sisanda Magala has been struggling ever since he was drafted into the national side. He has been a part of six T20 games for South Africa and two IPL games for CSK. However, the presence of prominent match winners on both sides meant that Magala had to warm the benches.
Talking about his IPL stats, he was a part of the playing XI during the early days of the tournament. In two games, he has managed to pick up only a single wicket with an economy rate of 8.50. It certainly looks like CSK have found their perfect playing XI and most probably Magala will be released ahead of IPL 2024.
Things could have been different if MS Dhoni had given more chances to him, but looking at the conditions and the outcome, it seems that CSK may not be the perfect franchise for the pacer. Rather, a team lacking a pacer will be a better home for him. There is no doubt that his rich experience in domestic cricket will help him to excel.
2. Dwaine Pretorius
Pretorius joined CSK during the mega auction in 2022 and was a part of the squad in a successful stint the very next year as well. The South African all-rounder was included in the side as a replacement for Dwyane Bravo. However, over time, it looks like CSK might not need his services.
In 2022, Pretorius played six games and scored 44 runs with an impressive strike rate of 157.14. Adding on, he had managed to pick six wickets for the side as well. However, in 2023, MS Dhoni never included him in the side, as he got only one opportunity. This depicts that the management has fixed their playing XI for the long run.
The main issue with Pretorius as a player for CSK is that he is an overseas player. And currently, the management will not change the perfect combination for a new season given the fact that no mega auction is going to take place. Therefore, it looks like it is time for Pretorius to find a new franchise that will help him grow as a cricketer.
Ben Stokes (Photo Source: Twitter)
Ben Stokes managed to grab the attention of the cricketing world last year as he went for a whopping 16.25 crores at the 2023 IPL auction. He was also an all-rounder who was roped in as a replacement for Bravo. However, injuries hampered his momentum throughout the season.
For someone of Stokes’ calibre, a tally of just two games is a symbol of below-par fitness. This is more of a concern for the CSK management as Stokes in full flow is an unstoppable force. His run with the former franchise, Rising Pune Supergiants, has been proof of that. Unfortunately, Stokes was not able to replicate the same for Chennai Super Kings in the 2023 season.
Adding on, Stokes is scheduled to undergo surgery as well post the ODI World Cup 2023. This means that there might be injury concerns for Stokes this time as well. For a team that banks on experience and the presence of all-rounders, this is not a piece of great news for CSK. Hence, this might provoke the CSK management team to release him just ahead of the 2024 season.