- CSK head coach Stephen Fleming has revealed that Dhruv Shorey could replace the injured Suresh Raina
- Raina is the leading run-scorer in the history of IPL
- CSK have won their opening two matches in IPL 2018
The returning Chennai Super Kings have obviously won their opening two games of the Indian Premier League (IPL) season but their on-field results aside, MS Dhoni‘s side has had to grapple with plenty of injuries and off-field issues in the first week of IPL 2018. After Kedar Jadhav‘s hamstring troubles ruled him out of the tournament, Suresh Raina IPL 2018, the leading run-scorer in the history of this elite league, picked up a calf problem that is likely to keep him out of action for a minimum of two matches.
Injuries and troubles galore for Chennai Super Kings
South African skipper and another key player Faf du Plessis is yet to feature for the franchise and even as he was heading close to full fitness, recovering after a gruelling home season in South Africa, his teammate Lungi Ngidi had to fly back following the desmie of his father. Amidst injury concerns, CSK have also been denied the chance of making Chepauk their fortress, as was the case in their glory days, again. The security concerns in Chennai forced a shift in venue for CSK’s remaining six home games, which they now will have to play in Pune – one that could hinder their plans given the team they picked during the auction, mostly based on conditions in Chennai.
Reflecting on all the off-field issues that have plagued the franchise since their return to the IPL this year, CSK head coach Stephen Fleming said: “There’s obviously been a lot going on. I guess the positive is we’ve had two wins in two. They haven’t been great performances, but they have been good character, scraping and fighting wins, which sometimes at the start of the tournament is more valuable.
“Yet, disappointed to be leaving Chennai. We sat in the auction to pick a team that was based on conditions and Chennai and we’re disappointed that we only got one home game. We were pleased to have had that one home game, and had a win, but that was going to be a big part of our strategy this year.”
Dhruv Shorey in line to make his IPL debut as Raina’s replacement
About injury to Suresh Raina IPL 2018, Fleming said: “We can’t replace him. He is one of the best performer in the IPL and highest run scorer, so we can’t replace him, but we have just got to find a way to minimise his loss.
“We have got good players in our set up. Dhruv Shorey, Murali Vijay who has played here (in Mohali) last year… So, these are guys with points to prove with international experience and when they get the chance they would do their best to do what Suresh Raina can do. This is an opportunity for someone else but you’d like to get someone like Suresh Raina back into your side as quick as possible. The blessing is we’ve got another four days in between and there might be a chance that he could be fit for the next game but we won’t rush him”
“Sometimes you can place over-importance on that (combinations),” added Fleming. “Rayudu has got experience all through the order. Someone like Shorey and Murali Vijay are more suited to opening. But we’ve got to balance that in our final discussions – whether it’s worth keeping that combination together. I think there is something going well in that combination but even if it is for a couple of games, it might be that we can make a change and then revisit that once Suresh Raina comes back.”
The former New Zealand skipper said that changes are likely to be introduced in the batting order in Raina’s absence, but these may be revisited once he is fit again to play, while also adding that IPL is about making combinations given the challenges one is faced with.
“Sometimes the ideal has to sit on the side and you come up with solution that fits may be the bigger picture,” he signed off.