'We don’t wanna just throw him in and damage him' - CSK coach Stephen Fleming reveals why Rajvardhan Hangargekar has been warming the bench in IPL 2022

Rajyavardhan Hangargekar has been bought by CSK for INR 1.5 crore

Rajvardhan Hangargekar
Rajvardhan Hangargekar. (Photo Source: CSK/Twitter)

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The Chennai Super Kings have not had an ideal campaign in the ongoing IPL 2022, having won just two of their eight matches so far. They suffered an 11-run loss to Punjab Kings during their last encounter at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on April 25 despite Ambati Rayudu‘s fighting knock scoring 78 off just 39 balls.

Apart from CSK’s underwhelming performances, another thing that has grabbed headlines is the exclusion of one of India’s upcoming talents Rajvardhan Hangargekar. The youngster, who played a pivotal role in India’s record fifth U19 World Cup triumph earlier this year, has been warming the bench and is yet to make his IPL debut. Meanwhile, head coach Stephen Fleming has explained why the emerging cricketer has not got an opportunity yet.

Rajvardhan Hangargekar is on an excellent program with us: Stephen Fleming

“You have to be very careful. I know he’s (Rajvardhan) performed at the Under-19 level but this is a step up,” Fleming said, as quoted by the official website of CSK. “We’re very conscious of the skills that he needs to perform. We don’t wanna just throw him in and damage him. We want to make sure we realise the potential that he’s got.”

“He’s on an excellent program with us. He’s played some big games already. If the opportunity arises this year, we’ll put him in. Pace is one thing, how to use it and bowl on the big stage is very important. We’re not gonna mess around with a talent like him,” said the former New Zealand captain.

Hangargekar was roped in by the defending champions for INR 1.5 crore at the two-day mega auction in Bengaluru earlier this year. It was his splendid performances in the U19 World Cup 2022 that impressed one and all, finishing with four wickets from five matches and also clocking 141.7 kph in the semi-final against Australia.

It now remains to be seen whether the youngster will get to feature in his first game when Chennai lock horns with the southern rivals Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on May 1.