Batting holes take center stage as Chennai aim to put Super back in Kings – The New Indian Express

Express press service

CHENNAI: A mid-season captaincy change that saw him leave the bubble unhappy with a minor injury.

Passing the baton to a forties, who is not sure to continue as a player next season.

A mid-level hitter, who thinks he’s totally burnt out and has announced his retirement, only for the franchise to talk him out of it. That might be enough to shake the foundations of any other franchise.

Except it’s Chennai Super Kings. These are big, but for the franchise the issues run much deeper. For a team that has one of the best support systems in place and a management that has always stayed away from cricketing decisions, Chennai know these issues could be managed.

Even after an injured Ravindra Jadeja leaves the bubble disgruntled amid tensions over how his role as captain was taken away from him, they don’t really sweat about it.

Their main stakes are elsewhere. For a franchise that typically picked their strongest XI at auction, this time they entered the IPL without having one.

Deepak Chahar’s unavailability and Adam Milne’s subsequent injury weakened them further. Even if they are available next season, Chennai still have some holes to fill.

Considering the season they’ve had, Dwaine Pretorius and Chris Jordan might not be in their plans next season.

And with Dhoni, Robin Uthappa, Ambati Rayudu and Dwayne Bravo all in the final stage of their careers, where will Chennai find their replacements is the question before us.

The cream of Indian talent is already taken, as are foreign players. And with the full-fledged auction already over, the chances of other teams making too many changes before next season are very slim.

This leaves Chennai with limited options for the future. In 2020, after failing to qualify for the play-offs for the first time, Chennai did not press the panic button.

Instead, they brought in Moeen Ali and backed Ruturaj Gaikwad to the top which allowed them to mend their holes and win the title.

While Mukesh Choudhary, Simarjeet Singh, Maheesh Theekshana, Matheesha Pathirana will compliment Mitchell Santner, Devon Conway, Gaikwad, Chahar and Milne in the future, Chennai would need at least some batting reinforcements to fight to play. -off next season.

“We’re not sure. We have a lot of puzzles that have good skills that we tried to fit them together,” CSK head coach Stephen Fleming said of next season.

“We need to know where we need to improve next season. We went through this two years ago and we understood it well. So we are working hard to put the pieces of the puzzle together. There are probably places we need to fill. But what we’re trying to do is sort through what we have at the moment and make sure we don’t leave any stone unturned when we play next year,” he said.

Having again invested in Uthappa and Rayudu as middle options, Chennai doesn’t really have any other hitters waiting in the wings. While N Jagadeesan and C Hari Nishaanth are with the team, Chennai still doesn’t seem to consider them regulars.

Additionally, both happen to be openers, a slot that is not currently vacant. Chennai have prepared their bowlers for next season but batting is where you need to tackle with a captain.

“We have positives throughout, but we have a few holes that appear at the wrong time. We haven’t been as good as we would like and we know it. But we try to find the positives,” Fleming said.

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