IPL team preview: Chennai Super Kings
Successive titles have taken a backseat to the disappointment of 2012 and 2013, but the five key players retained this year – and a handful of promising new recruits – will have plenty to promise Chennai's faithful fans.
<b>Captain</b>: Mahendra Singh Dhoni<br><b>Coach</b>: Stephen Fleming<br><b>IPL Best</b>: Winners (2010, 2011)<br><b>Cricket365 prediction:</b> Seventh
<b>Overview</b><br>Successive titles have taken a backseat to the disappointment of 2012 and 2013, but the five key players retained this year – and a handful of promising new recruits – will have plenty to promise Chennai's faithful fans and related <a href='http://www.paddypower.com/bet/cricket' target='_blank' class='instorylink'><b>online cricket betting odds</b></a> this year. With the wise heads of Dhoni and Fleming at the helm, and a host of backroom staff at the ready, the Super Kings will steadfastly chase a return of former glory. Those well-documented off-field issues, too, must be negated.
<b>Key Batsman</b><br>Australian Michael Hussey's exit has left plenty of responsibility on the shoulders of South Africa's <b>Faf du Plessis</b>. At the top of the knock or in the middle order, he has a solid stretch of form during the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh to add to in similar conditions in India.
<b>Key Bowler</b><br>Ravichandran Ashwin and <b>Ravindra Jadeja</b> have been a collective force to be reckoned with for several seasons – and the latter particularly renowned for telling spells under heavy pressure in the shortest format of the game.
<b>Likely Benchwarmer</b><br>New Zealand seamer <b>Matt Henry</b> picked up a late contract on the back of an impressive ODI debut against India in Wellington in January, but isn't likely to garner a berth in the XI amid a squad lined with a slew of homegrown seamers and the international services of Ben Hilfenhaus, John Hastings and Dwayne Bravo – who <a href='http://www.paddypower.com/bet/cricket/ipl-matches' target='_blank' class='instorylink'><b>popular cricket betting sites like Paddy Power</b></a> are tipping to do well.
<b>They Said:</b> "This was a first when I was going to be a part of the auction, so the tension was whether I would be bought by anyone. I knew that I was in with a chance since I had a good last year with Sunrisers, but was delighted to witness four teams going for me. I am still watching re-runs of my bidding on various channels." – leg-spinner <b>Karn Sharma</b> told <i>ESPNcricinfo</i>.
<b>Squad:</b>: Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohit Sharma, Baba Aparajith, Ashish Nehra, Mithun Manhas, Ishwar Pandey, Pawan Negi, Vijay Shankar, Ronit More, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Bravo, Matt Henry, John Hastings, Faf du Plessis, Dwayne Smith, Samuel Badree, Ben Hilfenhaus.
<b>Fixtures</b><br>18 April: Chennai Super Kings v Kings XI Punjab<br>21 April: Chennai Super Kings v Delhi Daredevils<br>23 April: Rajasthan Royals v Chennai Super Kings<br>25 April: Chennai Super Kings v Mumbai Indians<br>27 April: Sunrisers Hyderabad v Chennai Super Kings<br>2 May: Chennai Super Kings v Kolkata Knight Riders<br>5 May: Delhi Daredevils v Chennai Super Kings<br>7 May: Kings XI Punjab v Chennai Super Kings<br>10 May: Mumbai Indians v Chennai Super Kings<br>13 May: Chennai Super Kings v Rajasthan Royals<br>18 May: Chennai Super Kings v Royal Challengers Bangalore<br>20 May: Kolkata Knight Riders v Chennai Super Kings<br>22 May: Chennai Super Kings v Sunrisers Hyderabad<br>24 May: Royal Challengers Bangalore v Chennai Super Kings
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