There are still two weeks until the Indian Premier League (IPL), the biggest festival in cricket, but predictions have already started to flow.
On March 31, the IPL 2023 will get underway when the Chennai Super Kings take on the Gujarat Titans, who are the current champions.
In the upcoming 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL) season, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will be the side to keep an eye on as the four-time champions attempt to redeem themselves after a disappointing 2022 campaign in which they placed 9th in the standings with only four wins.
Prior to the 2022 season, CSK had only ever missed the playoffs once in its history, during the 2020 campaign.
The MS Dhoni-led team bounced back from the defeat by winning the trophy in 2021, and the Men in Yellow are expected to do the same this time around.
The addition of ace all-rounder and England Test skipper Ben Stokes has enhanced the Chennai-based team’s season.
Harbhajan Singh has referred to Ravindra Jadeja as CSK’s “X-factor” for IPL 2023, despite the fact that they paid 16.25 crore rupees for Stokes at the auction.
Everyone should keep eye on Ravindra Jadeja
Harbhajan Singh, a former cricketer for India and the Chennai Super Kings, believes that ace all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja would be the X factor for the four-time champions in the IPL 2023.
“The one person who everyone should keep an eye on is Ravindra Jadeja, especially how he bats for CSK.
He may be promoted up the order plus he has his four overs,” Harbhajan said on Star Sports.
“If you look at it from a world cricket perspective, I don’t think there’s a better all-rounder than him. So I’m looking forward to seeing Ravindra Jadeja in the IPL.
The X factor for me will be Ravindra Jadeja because he has been very successful in these conditions as a bowler and a batsman, he’s been playing there for so many years.
So for me, he is definitely going to be the X factor for the side,” the veteran off-spinner added.
Jadeja is CSK squad for IPL 2023
The Saurashtra all-rounder has successfully returned to first-class cricket after missing many months due to a knee ailment.
He was also selected Player of the Series in India’s 2-1 victory over England in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2022–23.
After joining CSK in 2012, Jadeja has helped them win the competition twice, in 2018 and 2021.
He was a member of the Rajathan Royals (RR) squad that Shane Warne captained to victory in the inaugural game in 2008.
Jadeja was appointed Chennai Super Kings captain in 2022, but following a disastrous start to the season, he was relieved of his duties and Dhoni took over as team captain.
MS Dhoni is the heart of CSK
Harbhajan also mentioned Dhoni to be the heart of CSK.
“The biggest strength of this team is MS Dhoni. He is the heart of the team. He knows the team very well and he is probably the best person to get the most out of each player in the team.”
Harbhajan on CSK squad
Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Devon Conway, and Maheesh Theekshana were highlighted by Harbhajan in his evaluation of the CSK team as a whole as players who will be crucial to their success in the upcoming season.
“Firstly I would select Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali of course, Conway will definitely be in the side, and Theekshana, before Pathirana because Theekshana will be more effective in Chennai.
But if the match happens in a place like Mumbai, against Mumbai Indians, then I will select Pathirana because he bowls a lot like Malinga and spin doesn’t play a big factor over there.
“If I have to select the four overseas players it would be Conway, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, and Theekshana,” he said.
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