After a good start with three wins in as many matches, Chennai Super Kings suddenly seems to have problems piling on in its title defence campaign following its big defeat to Mumbai Indians few days back.
Just as it readied a replacement for the injured Lungi Ngidi in Scott Kuggeleijn, the team has now suffered another blow with all-rounder and key member Dwayne Bravo being ruled out for at least two weeks with a grade 1 tear in his hamstring.
Bravo has been the leading the death bowling department for the team ever since he has been part of CSK, and with him out, the team will have to quickly find someone to fill those shoes. Death bowling is one of the weak areas for the team and is where the team lost out against Mumbai, conceding 76 runs in the last five overs.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s game, batting coach Michael Hussey said, “It’s a big loss, obviously he offers so much balance to the team and obviously his quality as a player. It’s going to cause a little bit of re-jigging of the team, but I’m sure we will still be able to put together a very strong XI.”
Hussey hinted that Kuggeleijn will have to probably step up alongside India pacers like Shardul Thakur and Mohit Sharma.
“I’m sure MS (Dhoni) and Flem (coach Stephen Fleming) will be looking at Scott Kuggeleijn and assessing his death bowling skills. Obviously, Shardul (Thakur) has done a little bit of it, and Mohit Sharma obviously can bowl at the death.”
Another potential worry for CSK is that openers Ambati Rayudu and Shane Watson have not given the kind of starts they gave last year, but Hussey said it was not a cause for concern.
“Watching them at the nets, They are preparing extremely well. Watson contributed during the Delhi game and won the man of the match award. Rayudu contributed nicely in the first match here in difficult conditions. You know as a batsman you can get low scores. But watching them in the nets, they are close to putting together some good, consistent scores.”