IPL 2019: Ajit Agarkar feels Ambati Rayudu and Suresh Raina need to fire if CSK wants to finish in top two
Rayudu and Raina have both underperformed in the season so far.
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Chennai Super Kings in a way lost its path in the second half of the tournament with losses against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Royal Challengers Bangalore and most recently, against Mumbai Indians, that too in their own backyard. Two of these losses came in matches that the CSK team played without their captain MS Dhoni in the playing XI. This worries Ajit Agarkar who thinks CSK will find it difficult to qualify as one among the top two teams unless the middle order fires.
Suresh Raina failed to emulate the success of Dhoni, with the team and also with the bat. He has just made 247 runs in 12 innings with one-half-century and strike rate of 120.48 in IPL 2019. Along with Raina, another vital middle order player in Ambati Rayudu has not found form, which endeared him to the CSK fans last year. Rayudu has made 213 runs in 12 innings, with one fifty to his name and a strike rate of 89.49. This failure of the middle order has haunted the team when Dhoni was unavailable to fall upon.
Ajit Agarkar feels Raina and Rayudu need to score
Former India bowler Ajit Agarkar also touched upon this fact, he feels that for Chennai, who have 16 points from 12 games and currently ranked no.1 on the points table, their middle order needs to fire in the remaining two games if they wish to hold onto their spot.
He particularly pointed out that the failures of Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu are putting extra pressure on someone like Shane Watson to perform even harder.
“They have real worries if Raina and Rayudu don’t play well, coz those two are really important players. If they keep failing, there is too much pressure on Watson, he might not have a great season himself, but in that one innings, he looked like getting back in form. Now he has to start worrying about holding an innings together. The middle order needs to perform better,” Agarkar was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
The Super Kings have two games left in their kitty, one against Delhi Capitals at home and their final match against Kings XI Punjab in Mohali, to make sure they finish on the top of the table.