Shaun Pollock is of the opinion that CSK's Suresh Raina hasn’t been able to find his touch in IPL 2021 and might be carrying a bit of niggle. Pollock added that Raina is a brilliant fielder, an attacking batsman, and contributes with his bowling as well, but this year he has failed on all fronts.
IPL 2021 has been terrific for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) so far and the 3-time champions qualified for the playoffs with three matches to go. Also, the team is performing well as a unit and is a strong title contender.
Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis contributing with the bat at the top is one of the reasons Chennai became the first team to qualify for the playoffs. Ravindra Jadeja has played the role of the team's finisher and all-rounder, whereas, the bowling unit has also done their job.
However, Suresh Raina, also known as 'Mr IPL' has failed misearably in the season. He has been one of the mainstays for the team for a long time and has scored over 5,000 IPL runs for the franchise but the second leg of the ongoing edition is turning out to be a nightmare for the former India international. Raina has scored only 37 runs in five matches since his arrival in the Gulf nation. In the match against Rajasthan Royals on Saturday, the 34-year-old could manage only three runs on a surface which was very suitable for batting.
Reflecting on the performance of the southpaw, Shaun Pollock has opined that he might be carrying a niggle.
"He hasn't been able to find his touch. He looks like he might be carrying a bit of a niggle, he doesn't look that pacey, that's what we are so used to: brilliant fielding over the years, contributing with his off-spin and smashing the ball out of the ground; we haven't seen that. No surprise that they promoted him to No.3; that was in a bid to get him some form under the belt," Pollock told Cricbuzz.
CSK are one of the teams who like to stick with their winning combination and does not make frequent changes in the playing eleven. Now, as the team has qualified for the playoffs, Chennai have the opportunity to test their bench strength in the remaining league matches. They have the likes of Robin Uthappa, Imran Tahir, and Mitchell Santner sitting on the bench but Pollock, the former South Africa captain, says possibility of someone like Uthappa getting a chance is slim.
"I wonder if they will give Robin Uthappa a chance. CSK are a team that doesn't like to make big changes. The longer it goes on, the more you feel they can't actually make a change for the knockouts unless they make it sooner or later. I'm sure he will be keen to have a go. But if they keep winning, they will want everyone firing," he opined.
Chennai Super Kings next face Delhi Capitals, who have also qualified for the playoffs, on Monday.