Former Australian cricketer Dean Jones reckons that the absence of Suresh Raina from the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) would be a major concern for three-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
MS Dhoni-led CSK is all set to take on defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) in the opening match of the tournament on September 19.
The franchise has undergone a massive whack as both the star players of the team Harbhajan Singh and Suresh Raina pulled out of IPL, citing personal reasons.
“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.
‘They need some left-handers’: Dean Jones
Jones feels that the team clearly need a replacement for the left-handed hard hitting batsman.
“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.
“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,” he added.
Fans are eagerly waiting to see MS Dhoni marshalling his CSK troop once again. Dhoni, who recently announced his retirement, has not been on the field for nearly 14 months, with his last match being the semi-final match against New Zealand in the World Cup last year.
Sixty IPL games will be played over 53 days across three venues — Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. This season, both the afternoon and evening matches will be played half an hour earlier than usual.
The final match is planned to be played on a weekday for the first time in the history of the Indian Premier League.