Just a week later, the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 will get underway. Teams have already started training, and they are putting all effort to draw the best possible combination for the tournament.
Meanwhile, three-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are yet to announce a replacement for their all-time great batsman Suresh Raina and veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh. Both the cricketers have opted out of the competition citing ‘personal reasons’.
Former New Zealand international Scott Styris has dropped his opinion on the red-hot topic. The 45-year-old has backed middle-order batsman Ambati Rayudu to fill in the shoes of Raina.
While speaking on Star Sports show ‘Cricket Connected’, Styris articulated that Rayudu is a perfect candidate to bat at No.3 pots.
“Personally, I’d put Rayudu in there to take that spot. …a player of that class, a player who has been so good for so long. To suddenly find those runs, even in the field and the odd over as well with the ball, is going to be a big task,” said Styris.
“I know that the CSK squad is deep, they’ve got a lot of options at the top, but I also believe that as much as the pressure is now on to find that No. 3, it’s just probably the most challenging time that I can look for anyway for CSK,” he added.
Raina is one of the most experienced players in the IPL. In 193 games – most by any player – the southpaw has stockpiled 5368 runs which is second-highest in the history of IPL. Raina has scored one hundred and 38 half-centuries in the cash-rich league.
Even in the boundaries count, Raina remains in the top-five. The left-handed batsman has smashed 493 fours – second-best in the lucrative league. He has also slammed 194 sixes – fifth best in IPL’s history.
Dhoni and Fleming will handle the problem: Styris
Styris further heaped praises on the Super Kings’ leadership. Lauding the ‘Yellow Army’ skipper MS Dhoni and coach Stephen Fleming, the former Kiwi all-rounder said that they will come up with a solution to the problem created in the absence of Raina and Harbhajan.
“And in particular, the leadership of this group I think with (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni and Stephen Fleming it’s up to them now to bring the group together, now that they have lost Raina and Harbhajan (Singh).”
The Chennai side will kick-start their IPL campaign against four-time champions Mumbai Indians in the tournament opener, which is scheduled to take place on September 19 in Abu Dhabi.
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