Chennai Super Kings (CSK) highest run-scorer Suresh Raina returned to India amid the COVID-19 outbreak inside the bio-bubble of the franchise. Although Raina showed a desire to come back, it is now on the franchise to make a call with BCCI's approval.
Former India cricketer and CSK mentor Kris Srikkanth reckon CSK will miss Raina, but he also added his absence can bring an opportunity for Murali Vijay. Even Harbhajan Singh decided not to travel to UAE citing personal reasons and now CSK is left with no off-spinner.
"Chennai Super Kings are definitely going to miss Raina. Firstly, as a player, as a batsman. Most importantly, fielder and part-time bowler. And as vice-captain and support to Dhoni. Raina has been a huge support to Dhoni. He brings a lot of energy to the team. You're going to miss all that," Kris Sirkkanth said in his YouTube show 'Cheeky Cheeka'.
"Harbhajan Singh, definitely yes. On tracks that are likely to spin more in the UAE, CSK will miss his experience. He has performed superbly well for CSK.
"Two big blows for CSK. Now it's all in the hands of Dhoni. He will handle it well, he has seen situations well. Even in such a situation, he will be able to do well."
Vijay didn't play IPL 2017, after leading Kings XI Punjab in 2016. CSK bought him in IPL 2018 auction, but they have included him in playing XI for only three matches in the last two years. Once a superstar for Super Kings, the local boy couldn't find a place after they already had a balanced side. Now, in absence of Raina, Vijay can make the opportunity count.
"See, in my opinion, it's a good opportunity for Vijay. He is determined. Whenever we met, he says he has been practicing well and looking for opportunities to do well," Srikkanth said.
"Don't forget, Vijay is a big-match player, he can open with Shane Watson. it's a great opportunity for him to redeem himself in the IPL. He has led sides like KXIP. Having played at that level, he would be keen to redeem himself."
Srikkanth is in favor of CSK to book a place in another play-off. "I still believe this team is a good team. They will definitely reach the top 4. CSK have the experience. The overall strength of CSK is MS Dhoni leading and experience. Dhoni knows the formula of winning," he said.