Chennai Super Kings (CSK) decided not to retain Suresh Raina ahead of the mega auction for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022. They retained Ravindra Jadeja, captain MS Dhoni, Moeen Ali, and Ruturaj Gaikwad.
However, Robin Uthappa, who played for CSK in IPL 2021, believes the franchise will go after Raina in the mega-auction. He called the southpaw CSK's 'biggest stalwart' and an 'instrumental figure' in their success.
"He's (Raina) I think the biggest stalwart of CSK that we've had. He's been such an instrumental figure in helping CSK qualify to so many of the knockout stages in the last 10-12 years," said Uthappa on Star Sports show 'IPL Retention'.
"So, Suresh (Suresh Raina) has been a vital cog in the wheel, so I think he will be the first guy they will go after. Having said that, it must have been really difficult to let go of Faf but, I think the only thing that pegged it towards Mo (Moeen Ali) was the fact that he is a two-dimensional player, with both the skills and unfortunately, they had to make that choice.
"And they would definitely want to retain a player with two skills. But I am certain that they will go after Faf because he has been incredible for CSK over the past 5 or 6 years," he added.
Notably, CSK had dropped Raina in the IPL 2021 playoffs and played Uthappa over him. He looked out of tough throughout the tournament and had the worst IPL season so far in terms of numbers.
Raina averaged only 17.78 in 11 innings and scored 160 runs with the highest score of 54 runs, which was also his only half-century in the tournament.
(With Star Sports Inputs)