IPL 2020 is scheduled to begin on 19th September, and all the teams had landed in the UAE last week to gear up for the upcoming season.
Chennai Super Kings, the runners-up of 2019, planned to have their first training session after the mandatory quarantine period ended. Unfortunately, 12 of their support staff members as well as a player have tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the franchise to delay their practice sessions further.
While CSK decided to extend their quarantine period and delay the practice sessions, they received another setback ahead of IPL 2020 as their highest run-getter Suresh Raina pulled out of the competition. Chennai Super Kings CEO KS Viswanathan informed the fans about the same via a statement on social media.
Who will replace Suresh Raina in the CSK squad?
Suresh Raina will miss his first IPL season since the tournament's inception. He has made it to the playoffs ten times in 11 seasons, which highlights his success in the IPL. Some fans even call him 'Mr. IPL'.
CSK might not be able to fill in the massive gap left by Raina, but here are the three players they could sign as the southpaw's replacement for IPL 2020.
3. Yusuf Pathan
Former Kolkata Knight Riders all-rounder Yusuf Pathan surprisingly found no bidders in the IPL Auction 2020. Pathan has been a part of three IPL franchises, winning the championship thrice.
The Baroda-based player was also a member of the Indian squads that won the ICC T20 World Cup 2007 and the ICC World Cup 2011. Pathan has played 174 games in his career, scoring 3,204 runs at an exhilarating strike rate of 142.97. Besides, he has even scalped 42 wickets with his right-arm off-spin.
Since Pathan possesses a similar skillset as Suresh Raina, CSK might sign him as a replacement.
2. Hanuma Vihari
Chennai Super Kings do not have any overseas slots left in their squad. The team management will have to sign an Indian replacement for Suresh Raina, and Hanuma Vihari could fit into that role.
Delhi Capitals used him as a finisher in IPL 2019, but Vihari is a player who performs better in the top order. Raina batted at the number three position for CSK, and Hanuma had a decent season with Sunrisers Hyderabad batting up in the order.
Since the 26-year-old player can bowl off-breaks in the middle overs, Chennai might recruit him as Suresh Raina's replacement.
1. Rohan Kadam
Karnataka's 26-year-old batsman Rohan Kadam was backed by many to receive a bid or two in IPL Auction 2020, especially after his 71-run knock against Mumbai in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy. Unfortunately, Kadam could not earn an IPL contract.
He can, however, make his IPL debut this year if Chennai Super Kings rope him in as Suresh Raina's replacement. Rohan is a left-handed batsman who plays in the middle order. He played two superb innings in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Batting against Mumbai, Kadam scored 71 runs off 47 deliveries, including seven fours and three sixes. His innings took Karnataka from 19/3 to 171/6 in 20 overs. Later in the tournament, he hit a 28-ball 35 in the high-pressure final match against Tamil Nadu, a game that Karnataka won by one run in the end. Since he has the ability to absorb the pressure, CSK could include him in their squad.Published 29 Aug 2020, 14:03 IST