IPL 2021: Top players not having game time a big challenge for CSK, says Aakash Chopra

Chopra believes that CSK will struggle at the start of the IPL 14.

Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina | BCCI/IPL

India cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra believes that the form of MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, and Ravindra Jadeja can affect Chennai Super Kings’ (CSK) in the upcoming 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

He further pointed out that the yellow brigade will struggle to get going in the upcoming IPL 14 since most of their top batsmen including Raina and Rayudu don’t have competitive cricket game time.

Following their forgettable outing in the last IPL season, the three-time IPL champions have doubled their preparations for the IPL 2021 as they are training for the last 3 weeks, but Chopra feels that the absence of Raina, Rayudu, Dhoni from the competitive cricket could be challenging for the CSK at the beginning of the upcoming tournament in India.

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While Dhoni and Raina have retired from all forms of international cricket, Rayudu had also retired from all formats of the game before making a u-turn and Jadeja has been out of action since January this year, recuperating from the thumb injury after the Australia tour.

Chopra said in a video posted on his Facebook account: “The likes of Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Mahendra Singh Dhoni haven’t played either international or competitive cricket. Ravindra Jadeja has been out of action for a while due to injury. So, four out of seven top performers don’t have a good form and competitive cricket game time.”

The commentator further added, “They may play Robin Uthappa and Ruturaj Gaikwad who have decent numbers in domestic cricket. Faf du Plessis will also fine. But what about the remaining four. That will be a challenge. Hitting the ground running is a challenge.”

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He continued, “They have 5 matches in Mumbai. And in Mumbai’s Wankhade favors pacers more. Pacers take 70% of wickets here and spinners don’t have much to do. Chennai is a slight spin-heavy team and their fast bowling doesn’t have much heft… Also, when you play in Mumbai, you won’t have the privilege to take your time and play. If the team wants to score big – like a score of 180 – all the top batters need to hit continuously from the beginning. And that is something I see going against them. This first leg might hurt them badly and they might not start very well.”

He further suggested CSK promote Jadeja up the batting order and give him more time in the middle in the upcoming IPL 2021 where the franchise will start their campaign against Delhi Capitals on April 10.

Chopra signed off by saying, “I would suggest CSK promote Ravindra Jadeja up the order and let him bat a bit more. Mahendra Singh Dhoni shall play well too. But Raina is the critical cog. If he hits the ground running, CSK will be fine. And if not, since he hasn’t played for quite a long time now, CSK, I feel, will struggle this season and that’s not a good thing.”

(With India Today Inputs)


By Rashmi Nanda - 31 Mar, 2021

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