CLT20 bite-size preview: Chennai Super Kings

India

Four consecutive Champions League campaigns, highlighted by 2010's title success, have the Chennai Super Kings as the most experienced – and lauded – of the lot in India this year.

<b>Brief Overview:</b> Four consecutive Champions League campaigns, highlighted by 2010's title success, have the Chennai Super Kings as the most experienced – and lauded – of the lot in India this year. A very settled squad, too, will ensure the momentum and experience gathered isn't laid to waste when needed most.

<b>Key Strength:</b> A near unrivaled loyalty exists among the Super Kings franchise, with duo Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin – and more – there from the all but the very beginning. Such loyalty is infrequent in this modern 'money talks' era.

<b>Probable Weakness:</b> Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is considerably less untouchable than during previous years – and the Super Kings' collective ambition mustn't be usurped by the skipper's need to silence national and domestic critics alike.

<b>Batsman To Watch:</b> The entertaining Suresh Raina is the five editions of Champions League Twenty20's leading run-scorer by a long shot – and was recently named Player of the Series after India's ODI series triumph over England.

<b>Bowler To Watch:</b> The in-form Sunil Narine's veritable spin twin for the West Indies, the unorthodox Samuel Badree has quickly taken to the rigours of Twenty20 cricket – and will be an entirely adequate complement to Ashwin and Jadeja.

<b>Squad:</b> Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Suresh Raina, Ashish Nehra, Mithun Manhas, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishwar Pandey, Pawan Negi, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohit Sharma, Dwayne Smith, Dwayne Bravo, John Hastings, Brendon McCullum, Samuel Badree, Faf du Plessis.

<b>Toughest Fixture:</b> Chennai are well versed against fellow IPL teams – and other tournament regulars. A speculative showdown with the relatively unknown Dolphins at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on 22 September, therefore, might bring a bogey.

<b>They Said:</b> "CLT20 regulations state that when a player elects to play for their 'away' team, that team must pay the 'home' team $150,000 compensation per player. A 'home' team is classified as a team from the country a player is eligible to represent in international cricket." – former CLT20 governing council member Dean Kino, after Smith chose Chennai over the Barbados Tridents.

<b>Cricket365's Prediction:</b> Losing finalist.

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