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Super Kings to take full squad to IPL

Leaving nothing to chance, the Chennai Super Kings, led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, will be flying out their full contingent of 27 players besides support staff to South Africa for the Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket tournament.

The team’s director for cricketing operations, V.B. Chandrasekar, the former India opening batsman and national selector, said: “We would not like to take any chances with regard to replacements if required due to injuries and so we will be taking the entire bunch of 27 players to South Africa.”

Speaking on the sidelines of a “Meet and Greet players” function at which the entire squad was present here Monday, Chandrasekar said the Super Kings would like to have all their options at hand in South Africa.

The squad is scheduled to leave for South Africa Wednesday morning to provide the players a week’s time to acclimatise and train for the IPL that was shifted out of India in view of the general elections besides security concerns.

Chandrasekar said the Super Kings, runners-up to Rajasthan Royals in the inaugural tournament last year, had plenty of depth in terms of talent and options, especially in terms of all-rounders and was hopeful of a better performance in South Africa.

“With the world’s top all-rounder Andrew Flintoff in our team besides the likes of Albie Morkel, Jacob Oram and Thilan Thushara, we have enough options. So, players leaving and joining us should not really affect the team composition,” he said.

Regarding the availability of Australian batsman Michael Hussey who had indicated he would like to skip the IPL but would join the team if it qualifies for the knock-out phase, Chandrasekar said: “We will definitely miss him, but will look forward to have him whenever he is ready.”

Hussey, currently in South Africa with the touring Australian team, had stated he would like to take a break from cricket ahead of the Ashes tour of England later this year.

The Super Kings signed up only three foreign players - Flintoff, Thushara and George Bailey - at this year’s auction while retaining the rest of the squad.

The team also signed up promising opening batsman Murali Vijay who is likely to partner former Australian opener Matthew Hayden at the top of the order.

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