As our first match against Punjab Kings is coming close, it is time we picked out the most probable XI for our team. Here goes my predictions:
1. Mathew Hayden/Stephen Fleming (I would have loved to play Stephen Fleming in all the matches. But the "4 overseas player rule" does not allow that to happen. But Stephen Fleming's Contribution during team meetings is very crucial for the success of the team. Fleming's role - Internal Consultant (Both Strategic & Tactical) to the team)
2. Vidyut S/ A Srikkanth (Vidyut has been an opener for Tamil Nadu for a much longer time and also he can roll his hands. So I prefer him. Though A Srikkanth is an explosive batsman and is a very good cover for both the openers)
3. Badrinath (He would be the one who holds the innings together + My choice for Vice-Captain)
4. Michael Hussey/ Parthiv Patel (Parthiv Patel's good domestic record in 2007(five consecutive centuries) earns him a spot in the squad. My reason for Michael Hussey's higher batting position is to utilize him the fullest during his stay here.)
5. Jacob Oram/Albie Morkel [Two Explosive All-rounders who can change a game either through their batting or bowling, single handedly]
6. Suresh Raina [Hope he sets the field on fire]
7. Dhoni (He and Oram/Morkel would float around the batting order and play according to the situation)
8. Shadab Jakti/ R Ashwin (While Shadab Jakti is a bowling all rounder, Ashwin is a pure bowler. Among them, who is going to play depends largely on the pitch and circumstances)
9. Balaji [Hope he is able to find his Midas touch]
10. Ntini/Joginder Sharma (Joginder Sharma for the first four matches and then Ntini can take over)
But what surprises me about this squad is their Bench Strength which may be very crucial in the latter stages of the game.
I think this is the best squad that Chennai Super Kings can come up with. If you think otherwise, do post your comments.