'He has struggled this year but can still change the course of the game' - Sunil Gavaskar feels CSK must bring back Suresh Raina for Qualifier 1

Raina missed the last couple of game owing to a knee injury but is likely to be available for the qualifier clash against Delhi Capitals.

Suresh Raina
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Suresh Raina of CSK. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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Former India skipper and legendary batter Sunil Gavaskar feels that MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings must bring back Suresh Raina into their playing XI when they meet Delhi Capitals in the first qualifier of the Indian Premier League on October 10. Raina has missed the previous couple of encounters owing to a knee injury, with Robin Uthappa filling in for him.

However, Raina’s fitness has improved and he is likely to be available for the qualifier clash. Gavaskar reckoned that the southpaw is a certain match-winner and even though he has not had the best season so far, he still possesses the ability to “change the course of the match”. Raina, the third-leading run-scorer in IPL history, has managed only 160 runs in 12 matches at an average of 17.77 and a strike rate of 125 in 2021.

“Speaking of experience, Chennai will give considerable thought to bringing back Suresh Raina for the playoffs. Raina is a match-winner. Of course, in the last few years, he has struggled, especially against the fast bowlers, but he has the ability to change the course of the match.

“Of course, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, and Avesh Khan will test him, but it’s okay to take this chance as if it gives Chennai the chance to make it to the final,” Sunil Gavaskar wrote in his Jagran column.

Rishabh Pant is a very positive cricketer: Sunil Gavaskar

Gavaskar further highlighted that both Delhi and Bangalore have had a sensational run in the ongoing edition and the Rishabh Pant-led DC, who finished as the table toppers, would be eager to make a comeback after losing their last league encounter against RCB courtesy of a KS Bharat blinder.

“Delhi and Bangalore are the two in-form teams, and even though Delhi were beaten off the last ball against Bangalore, they have the firepower with both bat and ball to come back stronger after the heart-breaking loss.

“Rishabh Pant is a very positive cricketer, and he will have learnt that when defending a total, it’s best to have the two best bowlers bowling the final few overs,” wrote Sunil Gavaskar.