Insights that Echo Beyond the Echo Chamber


With a mix of big and bargain buys, Super Kings get ready for title defence

Going all out: Super Kings went full throttle to sign Mitchell and Rizvi, right, while it added Ravindra for a not-so-high price of ₹1.8 crore.

The 2024 IPL could be a defining one for defending champion Chennai Super Kings, as it could well be the last season for its talismanic captain, M.S. Dhoni.

Going into the player auction, the five-time champion needed to strengthen only a few areas, and the management can be pleased with how things turned out in Dubai on Tuesday.

Area of focus

A key area of focus was to find a replacement for the now-retired Ambati Rayudu, who made impactful performances in the last three title-winning campaigns (2018, 2021 & 2023).

On that front, the Super Kings scored a winner in all-rounder Daryl Mitchell and also snapped up a highly-rated 20-year-old uncapped player, Sameer Rizvi, going full throttle for both of them.

The team made full use of its purse of ₹31.40 crore budget to pursue all-rounder Mitchell and get him for ₹14 crore. Mitchell had a tremendous World Cup in India and could fill Rayudu’s shoes in the middle-order.

Meanwhile, Rizvi (₹8.4 crore) scored 277 runs in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy for UP at a strike rate of nearly 140 with 18 sixes. The hard-hitting youngster also had a sensational UP T20 league, and if he can find his feet at the IPL level, the Yellow Brigade might have found a star for the future. These big buys were set up right at the start when the think-tank was able to strike bargain deals in scooping up New Zealand batting sensation Rachin Ravindra and India medium-pacer Shardul Thakur, who was with the outfit for four years between 2018 and 2021.

Shardul’s best years in the IPL have been while wearing the yellow jersey as a death-overs specialist and he also adds depth to the batting line-up.

One of the key targets

Coach Stephen Fleming later said Mitchell was one of his side’s key targets.

“Daryl is a different type of player, but his performances over the last 18-24 months have warranted this price. He is an unfashionable player and often goes under the radar. With his ability to play spin, he is competitive and a handy bowler,” said Fleming.

Another target was an overseas pacer as a cover for Matheesha Pathirana, and the Chennai side managed to get a good option in 28-year-old Bangladeshi left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman, who comes in with a lot of experience.

With a winning core largely intact, CSK has come out of the auction stronger than before for its title defence and probably Dhoni’s swansong.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *