IPL 2022: 3 Changes CSK can make to get back to winning ways

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) team. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

The defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have been disappointing with their performances in the first two matches of the ongoing Indian Premier League 2022 season. For the first time in the history of the tournament, they have started the tournament with two losses on the trot.

In the first league match against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), the team could not bat well to post a strong total on the board. The following game against Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) saw them scoring 210, but the bowlers let the team down by not being able to put the brakes on the runs in the crucial final overs.

The absence of key players like Deepak Chahar, Chris Jordan, and Adam Milne is hurting their chances to get off the mark in the tournament. For the next fixture against Punjab Kings, the team management might be considering making some changes in the team’s line-up or strategy.

Let’s look at the 3 changes CSK can make for their next game

1. Rajvardhan Hangargekar in place of Mukesh Choudhary

Rajvardhan-Hangargekar ( Photo Source : Twitter)

The young bowling all-rounder, Rajvardhan Hangargekar made it big in the Indian U19 World Cup 2022, where he played well to help the team clinch the trophy by contributing with five wickets and 52 runs in six matches. He might be replacing his fellow Maharashtra player Mukesh Choudhary in CSK’s line-up.

Choudhary made his IPL debut in the last league game against LSG and went for 39 runs in less than four overs without affecting a single dismissal. Moreover, he lacked the confidence to do well in pressure situations and defend the runs for the team in the final overs.

Hangargekar can be a perfect replacement for Choudhary due to his ability to be useful with the new as well as the old ball. His hitting abilities down the order can also be valuable for the team.

2. Maheesh Theekshana in place of Tushar Deshpande

Maheesh Theekshana
Maheesh Theekshana. (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images)

Although Tushar Deshpande has been a consistent wicket-taker for the Mumbai domestic team, he has not been able to find success in the first two games of IPL 2022. In the first fixture against KKR, he was average with his performance, giving away 23 runs in three overs.

In the second league game against LSG, Deshpande went for 40 runs and took one wicket. But his line and lengths have not been up to the mark and might lose his place to Sri Lanka’s mystery spinner Maheesh Theekshana, who has risen to popularity in the last six months.

Theekshana returned as the second-highest wicket-taker with 16 dismissals in 10 matches in the Lanka Premier League 2021. In the series against Australia in February 2022, he picked up five wickets in five matches, bowling most of his overs in the powerplay. Hence, he can be used by the captain in tandem with the pacers to take early wickets, which the team has lacked in the first two matches.

3. MS Dhoni coming to bat up the order

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Over the years, the former CSK captain MS Dhoni has been a reliable contributor to the franchise. After passing on the captaincy to Ravindra Jadeja in this edition, he has looked positive in his batting approach. In the tournament opener against KKR, he was the top scorer for the team with an innings of 50 runs off 38 balls.

The confidence of Dhoni continued in the following game against LSG as well, where he provided a late flourish to the team with a contribution of 16* off six balls, hitting a six and a four off his first two balls of the innings. In both the matches, Dhoni came at number seven.

With his current form in the tournament, he can be promoted up the order to build an innings and accelerate in a fine fashion in the final overs. In the IPL, batting at number four he has scored 1555 runs at an average of 36.16, and at number five he has 1928 runs at an average of 47.

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