Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are in major trouble going into the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL). On Friday, August 28, reports of few of their members testing positive for COVID-19 came to the fore. Their quarantine period was also extended and they were about to start practising from Tuesday, September 1.
Now adding to their miseries, Suresh Raina has pulled out of the T20 tournament. Raina was a part of the training camp that took place in Chennai before the CSK players headed for Dubai. The reasons for Raina backing out haven’t been revealed just yet.
But the atmosphere in the CSK camp has become chaotic. As for now, MS Dhoni and Co would be desperate to find the 33-year-old’s replacement. The search will be tough, but Indian cricket doesn’t have dearth in talent.
In the article, let’s take a look at five cricketers, who can replace Suresh Raina in CSK: –
1. Hanuma Vihari
Hanuma Vihari made his IPL debut back in 2013, representing the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). However, his career in the T20 league has never taken off. In 24 matches, the right-hander has only scored 284 runs at an average of 14.2. Moreover, his strike-rate of 88.47 hasn’t helped his cause by any stretch of the imagination.
The 26-year-old Vihari has a top score of 46 in the tournament. In the 2019 IPL, Vihari was a part of the Delhi Capitals (DC), but he got chances in only two games. Due to the presence of some power-hitters in their ranks, Vihari batted lower down the order.
But he is a kind of batsman, who can lend stability to any batting lineup. He won’t be the worst of replacements for Raina, who has been a stalwart for the Super Kings since the inaugural season.
2. Yusuf Pathan
Yusuf Pathan forayed into the IPL in 2008, playing for the Rajasthan Royals (RR). The right-hander captured the imaginations of the fans with his power-hitting. After a couple of seasons, Pathan moved to the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and lived up to the expectations as well.
However, the Knights also let him go and the Sunrisers picked him up in the auction ahead of the 2018 season. But SRH also didn’t persist with him after two seasons and released him ahead of the previous auction.
In 174 IPL matches, the 37-year-old has 3,204 runs at a strike-rate of 142.97 to go with 13 half-centuries and a century against the Mumbai Indians (MI). Yusuf is no mug with his off-breaks either. The Baroda cricketer has 42 wickets to his name at a decent economy rate of 7.4.
3. Rohan Kadam
It’s only been around one and half years when Rohan Kadam made his T20 debut in the 2019 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. In the short period, he has taken mini strides, if not rapid ones. In 20 T20s thus far, the 26-year-old has 794 runs at an excellent average of 49.62 to go with eight fifties.
The left-handed batter also plays at a strike-rate of 130.37, which aren’t meek numbers by any means. In the 2020 IPL auction, he was listed at a base price of INR 20 lakhs. To his sheer dismay and disappointment, he didn’t find a buyer and had to return empty handed.
But now that Suresh Raina won’t be a part of the IPL, the Super Kings can look at a batsman like Kadam, who has shown his potential to succeed. Kadam is also a top-order batsman and can be a handy addition to the Yellow Army.
4. Manoj Tiwary
Manoj Tiwary has quite a significant amount of experience in the IPL, having played since 2008. But in the last two seasons, he hasn’t found a buyer in the auction. He last played in the T20 league in 2018 for the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) where he was in and out of the team.
The Super Kings can contemplate picking Tiwary since he has played alongside MS Dhoni in the Rising Pune Supergiant. Earlier, Tiwary also played for the Delhi Daredevils, now Capitals, and the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
He is also in decent form as in the 2019-20 Ranji Trophy, the Howrah-born notched his maiden first-class triple century. In 98 IPL matches, the 34-year-old has 1,695 runs at an average of 28.73 with a decent strike-rate of 116.98. The veteran also has seven half-centuries to show for his efforts.
5. Akshdeep Nath
Akshdeep Nath made his IPL debut for the Gujarat Lions in 2016, but since then, he hasn’t gotten a whole lot of chances. In 14 matches in the T20 league, the right-hander has 90 runs at an average of nine with a top-score of 24.
In the 2019 edition of the tournament, Nath played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), captained by Virat Kohli and mostly batted in the lower order. Though his IPL numbers may not be that intriguing, his performances in T20s overall can’t be brushed aside. In 75 matches in the format, Nath has 1,120 runs with four half-centuries.
He has played a number of handy knocks for Uttar Pradesh in domestic cricket, irrespective of the format. He won’t be the worst of choices as Suresh Raina’s replacement, batting at the top of the order.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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