CSK players who could fulfil the void left by Raina
Chennai Super Kings batsman Suresh Raina is set to miss the impending edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) due to personal reasons. CSK informed about the development on Twitter, stating the 33-year-old has already returned to India. Raina's absence will serve as a huge blow for CSK. However, they have the resources to handle Raina's unavailability. Here are further details.
CSK will miss the services of Raina
The Super Kings will certainly miss the services of Suresh Raina. After all, he is the tournament's second-highest run-scorer, having scored 5,368 runs from 193 matches at 33.34. He featured in 158 consecutive games for CSK (IPL + CPL) before missing his first (2018) with a calf injury. In his absence, the onus will be on Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, and Faf du Plessis.
The four options for CSK in that top order
Raina has been CSK's mainstay at number three and now the three-time IPL winners will need to get the balance right in the top order. Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu can open the batting. South African stalwart Faf du Plessis can be an ideal candidate to replace Raina. Murali Vijay is another option upfront. That can allow Rayudu to bat at number three.
Is Faf the ideal solution at number three?
Rayudu didn't live up to expectations last season after a dream 2018 season with the bat. He amassed 282 runs in IPL 2019 at a rate of 93.06. CSK need the senior player to improve these numbers this time around. Faf could be the ideal customer at number three. Last season, the versatile batsman scored 396 runs in 12 matches, which included three fifties.
CSK will aim for a fourth IPL title
The CSK are expected to begin their campaign in the opening fixture against defending champions, Mumbai Indians. However, the full schedule will likely be announced soon. Nevertheless, the Yellow Army, who lost to MI by one run in the previous year's finale, will vie for a fourth IPL trophy this time. This edition will also mark the return of MS Dhoni in competitive cricket.
CSK's batting could be a cause of concern: Analysis
CSK's main strength is their bowling and there is a lot of depth in both spin and pace departments. The batting could be an issue for the side this time around. Now with Raina gone, the pressure will be there on CSK to score consistently.