Last year CSK had a disappointing season which had a lot to do with Suresh Raina's absence: Ricky Ponting

Last year CSK had a disappointing season which had a lot to do with Suresh Raina’s absence: Ricky Ponting

Suresh Raina is CSK's all-time leading run-scorer.

Suresh Raina and Ricky Ponting
Suresh Raina and Ricky Ponting. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Ahead of his team’s high-voltage clash against Chennai Super Kings on Saturday, Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting has heaped praise on Suresh Raina. DC and CSK will open their campaign in IPL 2021 by locking horns against each other in the Wankhede Stadium. Both the teams had contrasting campaigns in the last edition of the IPL.

While CSK failed to make it to the playoffs for the first time in the IPL, DC made it to the final for the first time. Both the teams will be looking to get off to a winning start in IPL 2021. And before the clash, Ponting could not help but praise Raina who is returning to IPL after missing the last edition due to personal reasons.

Before the start of IPL 2020, Raina had trained with the CSK squad in Chennai and had also travelled to UAE with the team. Before departing to UAE, he had also announced his retirement from international cricket. But just before the start of IPL 2020, Raina decided to return home. His absence was clearly felt by CSK as they struggled to do well.

In the absence of their all-time leading run-scorer, CSK struggled for consistency throughout the tournament. They eventually finished IPL 2020 at the seventh position as they missed the playoff spot for the first time in their history.

‘A great and a very experienced player’ – Ponting on Suresh Raina

As Suresh Raina gears up to return to IPL, Ponting stated that his absence might have been one of the reasons behind CSK’s poor performance last year. He hailed the southpaw as a great and experienced player and stated that he is almost like a new signing for CSK. Ponting also stated that CSK have a good squad for IPL 2021.

“They have been one of the most successful teams in IPL history. They have obviously got a great leader and a great squad of players. They have always managed to play really consistent cricket. Last year they were probably disappointed with the way their season worked out,” Ponting was quoted as saying by India Today.

“I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that Suresh Raina wasn’t there for the entire tournament. He comes back into the squad this year which is almost like a new signing. A great player and a very experienced player that they missed last year.

“We have been looking at their squad and analyzing their squad over the last week, and they have got a good squad of players together. They have got lots of flexibility. Even now, when we have talked about it for a week, and we are still not sure who’s gonna open the batting for them. So they have got lots of options. But at the same time, we have got a great squad, and we want to build on last season.” Ricky Ponting added.