Srikkanth Names Replacement For Suresh Raina, Bets On CSK To Reach Top 4 Despite Hurdles

Former Indian batsman and selector Kris Srikkanth believes that Suresh Raina's exit is a good opportunity for Murali Vijay to 'redeem himself' in IPL. 

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Srikkanth

Despite suffering a huge blow due to Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh's exit from the IPL 2020, MS Dhoni-led CSK has not named any replacement yet. While the franchise remains in search of a replacement for 'Mr IPL,' former Indian batsman and selector Kris Srikkanth has identified a window for one veteran batsman to rise amongst the CSK ranks. The former Indian batsman believes that it is a good opportunity for Murali Vijay to 'redeem himself' in IPL. 

Terming Raina's exit as a blessing in disguise for Murali Vijay, Srikkanth said, "See, in my opinion, it’s a good opportunity for Vijay. He is determined. Whenever we met, he says he has been practising well and looking for opportunities to do well." 

'Vijay is a big-match player'

“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," he added while speaking on his YouTube show Cheeky Cheeka. 

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Despite the hurdles, the former Indian selector reckons CSK will 'definitely' reach top 4 as skipper Dhoni knows the 'winning formula'. "CSK have the experience. The overall strength of CSK is MS Dhoni leading and experience," he said. Earlier, opener Shane Watson also identified Vijay as a possible replacement for Raina.

Recognizing Raina's void as a big loss for the side, Watson remarked, "No doubt he [Raina] is a big loss but we have got someone like Murali Vijay, who is a gun player. In T20 cricket, he has not got a lot of opportunities in the last few years. But he is a seriously good batsman. He was sitting on the sidelines last year, he might get more opportunities this year." 

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CSK to face MI in opener

Defending champions Mumbai Indians will face MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings in the opening clash of the tournament on September 19 in Abu Dhabi. Compared to the regular 8 pm IST start, the games will start half an hour earlier in the upcoming edition. The afternoon matches are set to begin at 3:30 PM IST while the evening games will commence at 7:30 PM IST. 

After the tournament opener on Saturday, Dubai will host its first game on Sunday when Delhi Capitals take on Kings XI Punjab followed by the third match on Monday between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore. In all, 24 matches will be held in Dubai, 20 in Abu Dhabi and 12 in Sharjah, while the venues for playoffs will be announced later.

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CSK 2020 Full Squad

Narayan Jagadeesan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, KM Asif, Ravindra Jadeja, M Vijay, MS Dhoni, Josh Hazlewood, Kedar Jadhav, Karn Sharma, Piyush Chawla, Ambati Rayudu, Imran Tahir, Deepak Chahar, Faf du Plessis, Shardul Thakur, Mitchell Santner, Dwayne Bravo, Lungi Ngidi, Sam Curran, Monu Kumar, Shane Watson, Sai Kishore

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Team Points Table

Pos Team Net RR Points