IPL 2018: Suresh Raina is irreplaceable for CSK, says Stephen Fleming

Raina had sustained a calf injury against KKR that ruled him out of IPL 2018 for 10 days.

Suresh Raina is a vital cog in Chennai's top-order | IANS

Chennai Super Kings head coach Stephen Fleming has said that losing Suresh Raina due to calf injury is a massive blow as the southpaw is near irreplaceable in the shortest format for them. Fleming also stated that the MS Dhoni-led side will have to find a way to minimise the loss of Raina.

During the game against the Kolkata Knight Riders on Tuesday (April 10), Raina had sustained a calf injury that ruled him out of IPL 2018 for 10 days. CSK are scheduled to take on Kings XI Punjab on Sunday (April 15) in Mohali.

“Raina will certainly miss this game, the blessing is that we’ve got another four days in between and there might be a chance that he is fit again for the next game,” Fleming quoted as saying by PTI.

“We can’t replace him. He is one of the best performer in the IPL and highest run scorer, so we can’t replace him, but we have just got to find a way to minimise his loss,” he added.

Fleming also hinted that the likes of Murali Vijay and Dhruv Shorey will come into the reckoning when the playing XI will be discussed.

“We have got good players in our set up. Dhruv Shorey, Murali Vijay who has played here (in Mohali) last year… So, these are guys with points to prove with international experience and when they get the chance they would do their best to do what Suresh Raina can do,” the former Kiwi skipper said.

Fleming also asserted that another player Lungi Ngidi had flown back to South Africa because of the family necessity and the side is set to miss the services of the speedster on “seam friendly” Mohali wicket.

Fleming had to respond about the question of his team’s home games as well. Chennai’s home matches will now take place in Pune owing to Cauvery water dispute protests.

“There’s obviously been a lot going on. I guess the positive is that we have had two wins out of two. There haven’t been great performances, but..fighting wins, which sometimes at the start of the tournament are more valuable. Yet disappointed to be leaving Chennai, we set our auctions to pick a team that was based on conditions in Chennai,” he said.

“Whether the Pune pitch is the same it was 12 months earlier, we will have to wait and see when we get there. We know some characteristics of that ground, which is again a positive. Does it replace Chepauk, no it doesn’t. But we will get our players get used to the conditions (at Pune) as quick as we can,” Fleming concluded.


By Salman Anjum - 15 Apr, 2018

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