Potential openers for CSK who can replace Faf du Plessis
In what comes as a huge blow for the Chennai Super Kings, senior opener Faf du Plessis has sustained a groin injury ahead of the second phase of 2021 Indian Premier League. He suffered the injury while playing in the Caribbean Premier League. Although the extent of his injury remains unknown, his participation in the IPL could be in doubt. Here's more.
Faf and Ruturaj shared two century stands
Faf and Ruturaj Gaikwad formed a terrific opening pair for CSK in the first half of IPL this year. The duo shared two century stands (129 vs SRH and 115 vs KKR). Faf is presently the third-highest run-scorer in the IPL 2021. He has amassed 320 at an incredible average of 64.00. Meanwhile, Ruturaj has scored 196 at 28.00 so far.
An ideal replacement for Faf
Robin Uthappa could be an ideal replacement for Faf at the top. The senior batter scaled new heights in this position while playing for KKR. He has racked up 4,607 runs from 189 games at an average of 27.92 in the IPL. Uthappa, who once opened for Team India, knows the nitty-gritties of opening the batting. Uthappa was traded from Rajasthan Royals to CSK.
Uthappa has scored over 2,000 IPL runs as an opener
As an opener, Uthappa has aggregated 2,057 runs from 77 innings at an average of 27.43 in the IPL. The right-handed batter won the Orange Cap in 2014 after finishing with 660 runs. Uthappa's contribution at the top helped KKR win a second IPL title.
Ambati Rayudu could be promoted
Ambati Rayudu played in the middle-order in the first half of IPL 2021. In CSK's last game, he struck a blistering 27-ball 72* against the Mumbai Indians. Skipper MS Dhoni doesn't believe in altering the playing XI much. However, Rayudu's run in 2018, where he opened alongside Shane Watson, might force him to think otherwise. The Indian batter smashed 602 runs in that edition.
Will Cheteshwar Pujara get the nod?
There was a surprise inclusion in the CSK camp this time in the form of Cheteshwar Pujara. The Indian top-order batsman was bought for his base price (Rs. 50 lakh). Pujara last played an IPL game in 2014. He was representing Punjab Kings back then. However, his recent run with the Indian cricket team could catapult him to CSK's XI.
A look at CSK's probable XI
A look at CSK's probable XI for the match against MI: Uthappa/Faf, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni (captain and wicket-keeper), Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Lungi Ngidi