By: Monitoring Desk
KABUL: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) seem to have learned their lessons from the setback they received last year. The three-time champions paid a hefty price for not preparing well for IPL 2020 as their pre-season preparation was affected by positive COVID-19 cases. 13 members of the team including two players tested positive soon after landing in the UAE.
As a result, the entire CSK team had to isolate while the other seven teams were busy preparing for the tournament. The lack of practice hurt MS Dhoni & Co. as they failed to make it to the playoffs for the first time in their history. CSK struggled for consistency throughout the season. They also struggled with the team-combination and finished IPL 2020 at the seventh spot in the eight-team competition.
At one stage, it looked like they would finish at the bottom. However, they managed to avoid the last-place finish after ending the season with three wins on the trot. And in order to ensure that they do well in the upcoming season, CSK have been taking several steps to prepare well. They started their preparation earlier this month in Chennai before moving to Mumbai last week. The likes of MS Dhoni, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, and Dwayne Bravo have already joined the camp.
CSK rope in Afghanistan duo
CSK have not only started their preparations for IPL 2021 well ahead of all the other teams, but they have also roped in several overseas players to ensure that the practice is of the highest quality. Earlier this month, South Africa fast-bowler Hardus Viljoen was seen bowling to the CSK stars in the nets. And the latest overseas players who have been recruited by CSK as net bowlers are Afghanistan duo – Noor Ahmad and Fazalhaq Farooqi.
16-year old Noor Ahmad is a left-arm leg-spinner and has already plied his trade in the Big Bash League for Melbourne Renegades. The teenager was also set to play in last year’s Caribbean Premier League after being drafted by the St Lucia Zouks. However, he was forced to miss the competition after failing to secure a transit visa through the UK.
Farooq, on the other hand, is a left-arm fast-bowler. The 20-year-old recently made his debut for Afghanistan. He played in one T20I against Zimbabwe during the recently-concluded three-match series in Abu Dhabi. He bowled four overs on his debut and picked up one wicket while giving away 27 runs.