There’s no introduction needed for the Chennai Super Kings. The most consistent side of IPL history, they are a force to be reckoned with. With the backing of the best captain in Indian Cricket history, ‘Captain Cool’ Mahendra Singh Dhoni, to a coach in Stephen Fleming, to a squad filled with the best in the business, there’s no way messing with the Lions. And like every season, this season too they are the strongest side on paper. Let’s take a look at the Chennai Super Kings of the 8th edition of Pepsi IPL 2015.

Departures : Ben Hilfenhaus, David Hussey, John Hastings, Vijay Shankar

Arrivals : Irfan Pathan, Kyle Abbott, Eklavya Dwiwedi, Michael Hussey, Ankush Bains, Rahul Sharma, Andrew Tye, Pratyush Singh

Chennai Super Kings have done remarkably well in the Auctions this year, retaining their core unit of players, while adding some quality options in each departments, bagging the likes of Kyle Abbott, Irfan Pathan, as well as the return of their leading run scorer of all time Michael Hussey. There is no shortage of firepower in their side either way, simply off the hook in each department. But on the other hand, they’ll have a race with their fatigue of each player coming from the World Cup. Let’s have a look at their line-up:-

Dwayne Smith : Their leading run scorer last year, Dwayne Smith looks set to start from where he left last season. Coming off a disappointing World Cup for the Barbadian, he would be currently low on confience, but only the coming matches will tell how well can he be of. However, the return of Michael Hussey would be an alternative provided Smith continues his poor form.

Brendon McCullum : The best captain from the recently concluded World Cup, we all know what he’s capable of. His highlight of smashing Steven Finn off 30 runs in an over had seemingly boosted Baz’s form and New Zealand’s chances, only to be unfortunately dismissed for a Duck in the final. Keeping that aside, his reputation in IPL is widely known as well, smashing 158* in the very first game in IPL history. Only time will tell what can happen to other teams this season.

Suresh Raina : The leading run scorer of IPL history, Suresh Raina is well known for being a T20 specialist for both India and CSK.  He is the only Indian to have scored a hundred in each format he has played. He looks set to continue the fine form he picked during the World Cup and would be a big danger to the bowlers.

Faf Du Plessis : The South Africa T20 captain is also one of the core players in the CSK lineup. He can be handy with all three. And would look to cement his place in the lineup.

Dwayne Bravo : The Trinidadian blitz is set to return this IPL, with Dwayne Bravo returning to the starting lineup of CSK. He has been the leading wicket taker in CSK history, unfortunate to have missed the majority of last season, but he had made up with some strong showings in the Champions League where Chennai had emerged victorious. There can’t be anything to keep him out of the team. 😛

MS Dhoni : The Captain, who has been leading the side since its inception, looks set to return to lead here once more. He is the penultimate figure of the team. And nothing can go wrong if he’s in. 🙂

Ravindra Jadeja : The allrounder, signed for 12 cr. in 2012 is also one of the main faces of this Chennai team. His lacklustre showing in the World Cup is one of the drawbacks, but keeping in mind Dhoni has kept faith in him even at the hardest times of his, he will not be kept out of the team. Let’s see how he pays the faith put in him by MSD.

Irfan Pathan : Signed for 1.5 cr. after being released by Sunrisers Hyderabad, he has a point to prove this season. He has been a consistent performer throughout IPL for each team he has played and his experience would be the reason why he’d be mostly used in the death by MS. Could a stint with CSK lead him back to the Indian team, only time will tell.

Ravichandran Ashwin : Dhoni’s go to man whether for India or Chennai, R Ashwin is the best spin bowler you could ever ask for. He can get you wickets whenever needed, tighten the opposition under pressure, etc. He is a complete package of spin bowling. Adding to MS’ faith in him, his expression below says it all 😛

Mohit Sharma : Another of Dhoni’s go to men, Mohit Sharma is certainly the best death over bowler for CSK. He was the leading wicket taker of last season’s edition and will looking to continue on that fine form he gained from the World Cup.

Ishwar Pandey : Would be in the side to fill in the uncapped quota. His early swings can cause danger to the batsmen o the team. Will alternate to the experienced Ashish Nehra if he fails to deliver.

This is the Chennai lineup we’d expect it to be this season, though not much difference from last season’s order, they would like to continue their winning run started from winning the Champions League in October last year. They begin their campaign against Delhi Daredevils at the Chidambaram on the second day of the tournament. Will CSK stand up to their ‘Whistle Podu’, only time will tell.