Strongest CSK Playing XI and Player List for IPL 2023: Complete Chennai Super Kings Starting XI and Players List

The four-time winners strive to overcome a slump, having endured a league stage exit in two out of their last three campaigns. 
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Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are aiming for a resurrection campaign to provide a fitting farewell to their legendary skipper MS Dhoni at the close of this year's Indian Premier League (IPL). CSK failed to ever claim a top 4 finish last season, managing just four wins out of fourteen league-stage encounters to end at the seventh spot in IPL 2022. 

That was a campaign reflective of some of the side's persistent issues, a disappointing spree of results for what are the four-time champions. To regain the winning ways, they need to immediately resolve some of those problems. Given their existing resources, they have no choice but to back their balance and playing combination. 

With CSK dependent heavily on their batting depth and multiple bowling options to play out several match-ups, below is a breakdown of how their playing XI could look like for the first match of the season on the opening day (March 31) versus defending champions Gujarat Titans (GT).

Strongest CSK Playing XI for IPL 2023

Top-order(1-3): Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ambati Rayudu 

CSK will bank on their tried and tested men for the top-order duties. Conway is now one of their more experienced and organised player and is duly the first-choice opener, with his ability to dominate both pace and spin. 

The presence of the Kiwi left-hander provides variety to the side and an able ally and cushion to young Gaikwad, whose pace game continues to develop. The India and Maharashtra right-hander, however, has been one of CSK's most consistent performers since his inclusion to the set-up back in 2020.  

At No.3, in a side not short of experience and quality, is Rayudu, who has over time established himself as CSK's linchpin with his ability to anchor the innings before blasting off at the death. He has been an able successor of sorts for CSK after letting go of now-retired Suresh Raina. 

Also Read: Best RCB Playing XI and Player List for IPL 2023: Complete Royal Challengers Bangalore Players List

Middle-order(4-8): Shivam Dube, Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja 

In what is the lengthiest middle-order of them all, CSK bat as late as No.8 in their line-up, a spot they can nowadays send out their skipper Dhoni, of whom CSK have become independent with the bat. CSK no longer have to bank on Dhoni to provide the end-overs blitz. The side instead let their ageing stalwart be as the skipper and the man behind the stumps, helping others play along with his experience and excellent captaincy skills. 

Dhoni can rest easy a little bit in what could be his last season knowing what is above him in the batting unit: CSK not only have terrific spin hitters in the form of Dube and Moeen but also exceptional aggressors versus pace with Stokes and Jadeja. The ability of each of them to roll their arms over provides CSK the balance and bowling cushion they have so often needed. 

Bowling (9-11): Deepak Chahar, Tushar Deshpande, Maheesh Theekshana 

CSK will bank on their new-ball powerplay swing operator Chahar, who will be coming back to action after overcome a sustained injury spree. Chahar taking early wickets helps CSK ruffle up opposition feathers right at the top of an innings and gives the rest of the attack an opportunity to pile on the pressure at their end. 

CSK have spin options in Jadeja and Moeen but the most incisive of the lot is Sri Lanka's young mystery tweaker Theekshana, who is expected to serve the team in yellow for a long time. The presence of Chahar and Theekshana would help Deshpande walk into the playing XI with relative ease in absence of left-arm pacer Mukesh Choudhary, who has been ruled out with injury.