It's amazing to see how IPL's quality has grown by leaps and bounds. It's safe to say that all the teams do heavily depend on their domestic talent.
CSK may not be a star-studded team. However, we have an ideal squad that is suited for T20 cricket. Come May, the addition of Caribbean flavor will surely enhance our credibility.
I reckon the biggest worry for us at the moment is the team selection.
Before we look into our team, let's look at some loopholes within the Pune Warriors which we can exploit to our advantage:
1. First three Pune batters:
The Pune openers have more often than not taken them to a good start. The Kiwi-Aussie opening pair in the absence of Graeme Smith, should be susceptible to spin bowling. Hence, we should start with our best T20 bowling pair in Ashwin and Bollinger.
Mithun Manhas hasn't been really tested, and has been fed with loose deliveries at the start of his innings. Banking on Ashwin to pick early wickets, some tight disciplined bowling should tighten the screw.
2. Pune Middle order:
The Pune middle order is dominated by slam-bang batters. We need to take into account what happened in their last game against Mumbai. It lacks the sheet anchor quality. With early wickets falling, it will certainly be a test of nerves for their batting.
3. Pune Bowling:
There is no X factor in their bowling. It's a combination of decent bowlers who've been working as a team through out the tournament.
Now, getting back to CSK, here are the following changes I believe will get us back on track.
1. Vignesh in, Joginder out:
Vignesh is a good striker of the ball and is a decent bowler. Hence, he is well and truly the domestic all-rounder we dearly need to get our team balance right.
2. Yo Mahesh in, Aniruddha out:
This move will certainly strengthen our bowling.
3. Faf du Plessis in, Randiv out:
Randiv is yet to hit the purple patch. Faf can be decent with his bowling and is a superb batsman.
My pick against Pune:
1. Murali Vijay
2. Micheal Hussey
3. Suresh Raina
5. Faf du Plessis
6. MS Dhoni
7. Albie Morkel
10. Yo Mahesh
Without any doubts, MSD will look to bat first. But this team should hold good even while chasing a Par score.
Let's make the MAC our fortress.
Jai Ho, Super Kings!