There was a lot of speculation about the franchise sticking with their second-most capped player after he decided to skip IPL 2020 due to personal reasons.
Aakash Chopra talked about the players retained and released by the Chennai Super Kings in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
The renowned commentator started by pointing out that Chennai Super Kings had made a significant budget available for themselves for the IPL 2021 auctions.
Shane Watson was already unavailable for the Chennai-based franchise this year due to his retirement.
"The Chennai Super Kings have released quite a lot of money by releasing Kedar Jadhav, Piyush Chawla after Shane Watson had already gone. When you release these three players, you suddenly get a bigger purse. They have also released Murali Vijay," said Chopra
Aakash Chopra reckons the Chennai Super Kings made an apt decision of retaining Suresh Raina. He reasoned there will be a paucity of such players at the auction.
"They have importantly retained Suresh Raina which was also expected. Even if he becomes half the player, you will not get a better player at the auction because none of the franchises were going to leave a good Indian batsman and that is what has happened," observed Chopra
"I was slightly surprised Chennai Super Kings did not leave Bravo" - Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra believes the Chennai Super Kings might be targeting some spinners at the IPL 2021 auction after letting go of Piyush Chawla and Harbhajan Singh.
"They have not let Imran Tahir go, they have left Piyush Chawla but Karn Sharma is still there and with him there is Mitchell Santner and Sai Kishore. I feel they will have to buy spinners, an opener and one or two overseas batsmen," said Chopra
Aakash Chopra observed that Dwayne Bravo was another player the Chennai Super Kings could have released. However, he added that retaining him was not a bad decision as they have enough funds to pick another overseas pacer.
"I was slightly surprised they did not leave Bravo. I felt they could do that but they didn't, but its fine. I feel they will also look for an overseas bowler. But this is actually not a bad strategy as Dhoni's team has enough money now," concluded Chopra
Dwayne Bravo was laid low by injuries during his stint for the Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2020. He could play just six matches in the tournament, accounting for only six wickets and conceded an average of 8.57 runs per over.
The MS Dhoni-led side have a couple of good overseas pacers in Josh Hazlewood and Lungi Ngidi apart from a promising seam-bowling all-rounder in the form of Sam Curran.
They would have retained Bravo as a back-up option, considering his vast experience.