The local talent was the key absentee as the defending champions announced their squad for the 2018-19 season of ISL. The midfielder was a key figure in the Marina Machans' race to the title last season, featuring in 17 matches and chipping in with two goals.
Head coach John Gregory said, " (Dhanpal) Ganesh featured in almost all games for us last season. But he has picked up an injury and he will miss the opening match of the season. In fact, he will miss several matches at the start of the season.
"On the severity of the injury: I can't tell you at the moment. We'll have to check with a specialist first."
It must be noted that as per the league's player regulations for the 2018-19 season, clubs are allowed to change the registered domestic players after every fifth ISL match (excluding playoffs) and 24 hours before the next game. This means that an Indian player can be added/removed from the squad after the club's fifth match, tenth match and so on.
The squad of Chennaiyin FC for the start of ISL 2018-19:
Goalkeepers: Karanjit Singh, Sanjiban Ghosh, Nikhil Bernard
Midfielders: Raphael Augusto (Brazil), Gregory Nelson (The Netherlands), Andrea Orlandi (Italy), Francisco Fernandes, Thoi Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Germanpreet Singh, Sinivasan Pandiyan, Isaac Vanmalsawma, Bedashwor Singh, Zonunmawia
Forwards: Jeje Lalpekhlua, Mohammed Rafi, Carlos Antonio Salom (Palestine)