Renowned commentator Dean Jones feels that with Suresh Raina pulling out of the tournament, CSK could suffer due to the lack of left-handers in their line-up, particularly due to the emergence of leg-spinners. Jones also feels that Dhoni and Fleming will have to work hard to gel the team together.
Days after the side landed in UAE, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) were dealt a body blow in the form of their highest run-getter Suresh Raina pulling out of the tournament owing to personal reasons. Arguably, the greatest player in the club’s history, Raina’s absence has punched a hole in the franchise’s batting, particularly due to them not being able to sign an overseas replacement due to unavailability of foreign slots.
Renowned expert Dean Jones, however, feels Raina’s absence could hurt CSK in more ways than they could imagine. According to the Australian, the lack of left-handers in the side - Faf, Rayudu, Gaikwad, Bravo, Dhoni are all right-handers - could render them vulnerable to the threat of leg-spin in the tournament.
"Raina's absence is a major concern this time and he is in the top 5 run getters in IPL. He is a left hander and plays spin very well and the weakness for CSK could be that majority of their players are right handed," Jones told Star Sports, reported TOI.
23-year-old Ruturaj Gaikwad, a right-hander, is currently being talked up by the management as Raina’s natural replacement, but according to Jones, the franchise might have to look at getting a like-for-like replacement.
"They need some left handers or they could get stuck and particularly, if they are playing to leg-spinners and the ball is going away. So, whether to go with Sam Curran or Jadeja and Bravo or Tahir.”
The 59-year-old further noted that with Raina and Harbhajan Singh missing from the camp, and with a ton of players short of match practice, captain MS Dhoni and coach Stephen Fleming will have their work cut out, heading into the 13th season of the IPL.
"Watson and Dhoni haven't batted for long. Raina and Harbhajan have gone home as well, so it is up to Fleming and Dhoni, how they gel the team together.”
CSK will kick-start their IPL 2020 campaign versus Mumbai Indians on September 19 at the Dubai International Stadium.