IPL 2020: 3 players CSK might release ahead of the auction
The most consistent franchise in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Chennai Super Kings have managed to lift the IPL trophy thrice in just 10 years of their participation in the league.
Banned in 2015 due to the betting scandal, the Yellow Army returned after an exile of two years to secure their third title in 2018. Under the leadership of their cool and calm skipper MS Dhoni, CSK have made it to the playoffs every season they have played.
With another exciting season of T20 cricket coming up in 2020, the Chennai-based franchise would like to better their performances from the previous edition and cross the last hurdle in the final. Despite a fairly successful IPL in 2019, the Dhoni-led team was found wanting in a few departments - especially at the business end of the tournament.
In the new season CSK would want to plug all the loopholes, leaving no room for error in the performances on the field. This can be made possible by releasing a few players who had very little to contribute to their campaign last year.
Here, we take a look at three players CSK might release ahead of the IPL auction:
#3 Karn Sharma
IPL 2019 - M: 1, Wickets: 1, Economy: 11.64
A coventional leg-spinner, Karn Sharma made headlines when he was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2014 for INR 3.75 crore - thereby becoming the highest paid uncapped Indian in the league. He did well for the Orange Army over the next two years but was bought by MI in 2017 for INR 3.2 crore.
After a year as MI's leading spinner, Sharma shifted base to Chennai in 2018 with a huge auction price of INR 5 crore against his name. However, the 32-year-old leggie failed to make enough appearances in the playing XI due to the presence of a few veteran spinners in the team.
It will be fitting if CSK decide to release Sharma, considering he has made only seven appearances in the last two seasons for the yellow brigade. He can prove to be a more than a useful asset for any other team looking for a leg-spinner, instead of warming the bench in the CSK camp.
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#2 Murali Vijay
IPL 2019 - M: 2, Runs: 64, SR: 104.91
One of India's best Test openers in the last few years, Murali Vijay is currently out of the national reckoning. His run of failures have forced the team management to look beyond him and focus on the young crop instead.
Vijay's decline at the national level has also affected his form and fortunes in the IPL. In 2018 Vijay was bought by his home franchise at his base price for INR 2 crore. He was retained for the next season despite playing a solitary match in the entire season.
Vijay made a name for himself in the shorter formats with his stint at Chennai Super Kings, the highlight being a match-winning knock of 127 against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2010. However, he has found it tough to get going in recent seasons.
Even in 2019, he got the opportunity to feature in two matches for CSK as an opener but couldn't impress much on a slow Chennai track. In the last two seasons, the 35-year-old has only played three games with an aggregate of 76 runs.
It is quite likely that the franchise will part ways with the Indian opener ahead of the auctions later this year.
#1 Kedar Jadhav
IPL 2019 - M: 14, Runs: 162, SR: 95.85
After being bought for a whopping auction price of INR 7.8 crore in 2018, Jadhav was ruled out after injuring his hamstring in the season opener against Mumbai. The Maharashtra batsman returned with a lot of expectations in the IPL next year.
He was a regular for CSK in every game in the lower-order, but couldn't perform to his potential for the Men in Yellow. Playing 14 games on the trot, Jadhav could only muster 162 runs with the bat.
In the season ahead, it is possible that the Super Kings will not have Jadhav as part of their plans for IPL 2020. The right-hander could witness an end to his services for CSK due to the lack of consistent performances from his willow.