With IPL 2021 set to resume in September in the UAE, franchises will be sweating over the availability of their international stars, especially the England contingent. A packed international schedule for most national teams during the IPL restart means most franchises will be without some of their foreign imports.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are most likely to lose all-rounders Sam Curran and Moeen Ali. The possibility of the duo's absence is extremely high after England Director of Cricket Ashley Giles' comments earlier this month.
“We have a full schedule if we go from the end of the fifth Test in September. We are set to leave for Bangladesh in the next couple of days. We have a full schedule right through, including Pakistan and wherever the T20 World Cup is,” Giles said.
“We are going to have to give some of these guys a break at some point. But the intention of giving guys a break for, say, Bangladesh wouldn’t be for them to go and play cricket elsewhere,” he continued.
“We have to manage our schedule now, so we get our guys arriving in the best shape possible for the T20 World Cup and Ashes," said the ECB chief.
Impact of Curran and Ali's potential absence for CSK in IPL 2021
Both players have played key roles for Chennai in IPL 2021. Curran picked up nine wickets at an average of 24.11 besides smashing 58 crucial runs in the lower-order at a strike rate of 208.
Ali was also stellar for men in yellow, stacking up 206 runs at an average of 34.33 and a strike rate of 157.25. He picked up five wickets in as many innings at an average of 14.80 and an economy rate of 6.16.
It's safe to say the absence of the pair will dent CSK. However, the team has backup in the form of Mitchell Santner, Jason Behrendoff, Lungi Ngidi and Dwayne Bravo, who will get more chances in the second half of the tournament.
Santner and Behrendoff have been warming the bench for the side in IPL 2021. Slotting them into the playing XI may not yield immediate results for a side that had a great run in the first half of the tournament.
Compared to the 2020 edition, where they failed to qualify for the knockout stage, CSK had a successful run in IPL 2021 before the tournament was suspended.
MS Dhoni's men won seven games and were second in the points table when the tournament was halted. The Delhi Capitals are top of the table with 12 points from eight matches while RCB trail CSK in third place with ten points.
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