Instead of Ravindra Jadeja, I would put Ambati Rayudu to take Suresh Raina's spot: Scott Styris

Instead of Ravindra Jadeja, I would put Ambati Rayudu to take Suresh Raina’s spot: Scott Styris

It will certainly be a tough task for CSK to fill the void left by Raina, who had performed exceedingly well in all three departments.

Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings’ Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu during the first IPL 2019 match. (Photo: IANS)

Chennai Super Kings have suffered several blows ahead of IPL 2020. The Chennai franchise, days before the tournament, was shaken after 13 members of the CSK squad had tested positive for the coronavirus. To make things worse, their vice-captain Suresh Raina and veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh also pulled out from this year’s IPL owing to personal reasons.

The MS Dhoni-led side may have resumed outdoor training but the team management is yet to announce replacements of Raina and Harbhajan. It will certainly be a tough task for CSK to fill the void left by Raina, who had performed exceedingly well in all three departments. ‘Chinna Thala’ had delivered at the No.3 batting position, along with flaunting his fielding and bowling skills.

Former New Zealand all-rounder also highlighted Raina’s absence and said that it will be ‘challenging’ for the Yellow Army to replace Raina. According to Styris, CSK could give the opportunity to Ambati Rayudu in Raina’s absence. Rayudu might not contribute with the ball but he surely can emerge as a match-winner for CSK this season.

Raina is a player who has been so good for so long: Scott Styris

“Yeah, tough one, isn’t it, a player of that class, a player who has been so good for so long. To suddenly finds those runs, even in the field and the odd over as well with the ball, is going to be a big task. I know that the CSK squad is deep, they’ve got a lot of options at the top, but I also believe that as much as the pressure is now on to find that No. 3, it’s just probably the most challenging time that I can look for any way for CSK,” said Styris on Star Sports’ Cricket Connected.

“Couple of options they could go with, the two overseas players at the top and bring in the youngster Gaikwad as well or they may decide to have a pitch-hitter. I know that Simon Doull, my fellow New Zealander is guesstimated that Mitchell Santner could go to the top. May be even someone like Jadeja too, who we have seen in Indian colours, has been so good, so they need to find that No. 3. Personally, I’d put Rayudu in there to take that spot,” added Styris.

Deepak Chahar, one of the members who had tested COVID-19 positive, is now set to join the training and get in rhythm before IPL 2020 commences. After being shaken with several blows, the return of Chahar has been a piece of positive news for the Chennai franchise. Former India pacer Ajit Agarkar also opined on how CSK’s bowling force will fare upon the return of Chahar.

“I know Dhoni depends on Chahar a lot to start with the new ball or bowls him up front, but when you have not played cricket for as long as all these players have, plus he has had this extra quarantine because of turning positive, might have less preparation time. But hopefully, the fitness levels are there, it’s about getting the skills right and getting some sort of bowling into your legs while they have some practice games, he’s probably going to be ready,” said Agarkar.