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IPL 2018: Suresh Raina might play against Rajasthan Royals

The fiery all-rounder is expected to play the game and lead the team in the absence of MS Dhoni.

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

Fans of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) side might be able to breathe a sigh of relief as there are reports of Suresh Raina being available to play for his team against the Rajasthan Royals on Friday (April 20). There have been quite a few setbacks for the CSK, the most gut-wrenching one being that of the home games of the side being shifted from Chennai to Pune. Friday’s match will be this season’s first match at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune.

CSK have made a solid start to their hunt for the trophy in the 2018 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL)Having won 2 games out of the 3 that they’ve played, the MS Dhoni-led side is currently at the fourth spot in the points table. They have 4 points in their kitty, with a Net Run Rate (NRR) of +0.103.

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Suresh Raina to possibly lead CSK

As per reports by Sportstar, Raina was spotted attending the nets session ahead of Friday’s game and was seen practising in full-swing. Prior to this, he’d been ruled out of two IPL games owing to a calf muscle injury that he’d sustained in the match against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). As a result, he missed the game against the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). However, his comeback may be sooner than expected according to reports.

The main reason behind Raina’s hurried comeback may be due to the possibility of MS Dhoni missing the next match. MSD had sustained a back strain in the match against KXIP and could be seen battling pain while batting for his side in a losing battle. Although Dhoni played one of the finest knocks he’s ever produced in the match against KXIP with 79 runs off just 44 balls, CSK ended the match on the losing side by 4 runs.

If Dhoni and Raina both were to miss the crucial game against the Rajasthan franchise, CSK would be rendered into a weak side, devoid of proper leadership. As a result, the left-hander is expected to play the game and lead the team in the absence of Dhoni. The CSK camp is already in a soup, with all their remaining home games to be played in Pune, robbing them of the home advantage. CSK coach, Stephen Fleming recently admitted to the disadvantage as they’d selected their squad factoring in the Chennai playing conditions.

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