The Chennai-based franchise released a total of eight players ahead of the IPL 2023 auction, which will be held in Kochi on December 23. The retired Robin Uthappa, Narayan Jagadeesan, Adam Milne, Chris Jordan, KM Asif, Hari Nishaanth, and Bhagath Varma were the other players released from the previous squad.
During a discussion on Star Sports, Manjrekar was asked about his views on CSK releasing Bravo. He responded:
"They had to make some tough calls because they didn't have a great IPL and the aging players were the first ones to feel the pressure and that is what has happened. If CSK would have had a better IPL season maybe they would have said let's give this guy (Bravo) one more season."
The former Indian cricketer highlighted that Bravo can still hold his own as a death bowler, although he acknowledged his waning returns as a batter, elaborating:
"He is still there, he is still bowling the difficult overs. The batting contribution had dwindled but a high utility player. Still had the zest for the game, bowls all those variety of slower deliveries and he is a seasoned death bowler."
Bravo scalped 16 wickets at an acceptable economy rate of 8.70 in the 10 matches he played in IPL 2022. He could only manage 23 runs at a below-par strike rate of 95.83 in the six knocks he played.
"Amongst all the aging players last season, I thought he looked the best" - Sanjay Manjrekar on CSK retaining Ambati Rayudu
Manjrekar was further asked about the areas CSK would want to strengthen. He replied:
"Obviously, they need somebody in the middle. They might have to take another important call with Ambati Rayudu as well. Amongst all the aging players last season, I thought he looked the best."
The cricketer-turned-commentator feels that while Ambati Rayudu might deliver the goods in IPL 2023, MS Dhoni's side will have to bolster their middle order. He stated:
"Their batting struggled a little bit but despite that Ambati Rayudu, he didn't quite get the consistent numbers that he wanted, it seemed like there is something there, maybe that is why he has been kept for one more season because he has someone more to offer. But they need a couple of game-changers in the middle."
Rayudu scored 274 runs at a decent strike rate of 122.32 in the 11 innings he played in IPL 2022. The 37-year-old even announced his retirement on social media after the tournament. However, he was asked by CSK management to reverse his decision.
Poll : Did CSK take the right call in releasing Dwayne Bravo?