IPL 2020, MI vs CSK: Who will replace Suresh Raina in Chennai Super Kings’ playing XI?
IPL 2020, MI vs CSK: There has been a lot of talk around who will replace Suresh Raina at No.3 in CSK’s batting line-up ever since the left-hander decided to pull out of IPL 2020. All that will be put to rest when CSK take on defending champions Mumbai Indians on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.Updated: Sep 19, 2020, 13:24 IST
After a delay of almost six months and in an entirely different country, the IPL will be played in front of empty stands for the first time ever since its inception in 2008 and there could not have been a better way to start the tournament with last year’s finalists and the two most successful teams of the richest cricket league Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians taking on each other.
There has been a lot of talk around who will replace Suresh Raina at No.3 in CSK’s batting line-up ever since the left-hander decided to pull out of IPL 2020. All that will be put to rest when CSK take on defending champions Mumbai Indians on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
Here is CSK’s predicted XI for the first match of IPL 2020 against Mumbai Indians.
Shane Watson: The big-hitting Aussie opener is nearing the end of a decorated career and he would want to bow out in style. Watson’s virtuoso knock inspired CSK to the title in 2018 but he couldn’t replicate the same year. Watson managed to resurrect his international career with the IPL and he would want to bring the curtains down on his glorious playing days with yet another stellar season.
Ambati Rayudu: He did a commendable job for CSK while opening the batting in IPL 2018. His exploits at the top of the order earned him a recall in the Indian side. With Raina not being there, Rayudu is set to get back his opening slot at least for the start of this season.
Faf du Plessis: There is no one better in CSK’s squad than former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis to replace the experience and class of Suresh Raina. Du Plessis has batted at the top previously for CSK and will be one of their mainstays in their batting line-up in this year’s IPL.
Kedar Jadhav: The Maharashtra little man packs a punch in the middle-order. He has had his fair share of injuries but whenever he walks out to bat, he makes sure the opposition has a battle on their hands. Raina’s absence also means Jadhav could get a permanent No.4 spot in CSK’s batting unit for this season. His round-arm off-spin will also come in handy.
MS Dhoni: Do we need to say anything? It will not be an overstatement if we say that all eyes will on Dhoni when he walks out to play his first competitive cricket match after a gap of 14 months on Saturday. Dhoni had an excellent season in 2019, showcasing his power-hitting abilities are still intact. But a prolonged absence from the international scene means the seasoned campaigner needs to go all guns blazing this year.
Ravindra Jadeja: The India all-rounder is one of the main cogs in CSK’s wheel. His superb form with the bat in the last couple of years means he in all probability will get to bat in the top six for CSK this season. Of course, we can’t even dare to forget what he brings to the table as a left-arm spinner and as a fielder.
Dwayne Bravo: The West Indian spent most of last season on the bench due to an injury and he would be raring to go this year. Back in the Windies fold as well, Bravo’s change of pace with the ball has been a big weapon. He continues to be one of the biggest match-winners in the shortest format.
Piyush Chawla: An IPL veteran and one of the closest buddies of CSK captain Dhoni, Piyush Chawla has reached the twilight of his career. But CSK surprised everyone by picking him in the auctions held last year. Now with Harbhajan Singh not there, it will be Chawla who will lead the CSK’s spin attack.
Deepak Chahar: There were doubts about his availability in the tournament opener when Chahar tested positive for Covid-19 last month. But in a big relief to CSK, the right-arm seamer tested negative last week and joined the practice with the rest of the squad members. He will lead CSK’s new-ball attack.
Shardul Thakur: The Mumbai seamer has been a part of the CSK squad for some time. With all the knuckle balls, leg cutters and slower bouncers, he is certain to be a key weapon for CSK in the middle overs.
Imran Tahir: The South African leg spinner picked up 26 wickets last season, which is the most for a spinner in a single IPL season. The leggie will be a big threat yet again on the slow and sluggish surface in Chennai. His partnership with Harbhajan Singh will be one to look out for yet again.