IPL 2020: CSK CEO reveals if Suresh Raina will return to MS Dhoni's side this season
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) CEO has ruled out Suresh Raina's return into the squad for the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020.
After flying to the UAE with CSK, Raina withdrew from the tournament a few days before the start citing personal reasons. But, later, Raina had hinted that he could return to the CSK squad.
CSK, who have won three IPL titles, started the underway 13th edition with a win over defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI), since then, MS Dhoni-led side has suffered two losses in as many matches. Their batting, in particular, has been poor.
Apart from Ambati Rayudu and Faf du Plessis, no other CSK batsman has looked to
be in form, and thereby, the team has been missing the presence of Suresh Raina in the top-order.
Speaking to ANI in an interview, CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan has stated that the team is currently not looking at Raina's return.
"See, we cannot look at Raina because he made himself unavailable and we respect his decision and his space. We are not thinking about it. We have been blessed with some of the best fans in the cricketing world and I can assure them that we will bounce back strongly. It is a game and you have your good days and bad days. But the boys know what they need to do and the smiles will be back," added Viswanathan.
After CSK's recent 44-run lost to Delhi Capitals (DC), Dhoni and head coach Stephen Flemming admitted to their team's current batting woes.
"We are lacking a bit of steam in the batting and that hurts. The run rate keeps on mounting after such slow starts and adds pressure, we need to figure that out. We need to come back with a clearer picture, looking at the combination. There are quite a few things we can think about. We are one batter extra to start off, so the players need to step up," Dhoni said in the post-match interview.
Flemming, on the other hand, said that the inclusion of the likes of Raina and Rayudu also made the team more competitive.
"We are a bit muddled at the moment, we are missing some key players and are trying to find a balance that allows us to be competitive. Again it comes to the spin bowling aspect, we are looking to develop a personality on the type of pitches we are getting. We are trying to find a combination without Raina and Rayudu. The performance against Delhi was on the weaker side in terms of intent. It has been an interesting six days and now we have the time to rectify the issues and there are a few of them," added Flemming.
Rayudu, who won the Player of the Match in CSK's five-wicket win over MI, missed out on the next two matches due to injury. After the loss to Delhi, Dhoni even insisted that the missing balance will return in the side once Rayudu returned.
With 173 runs in three matches at 86.50, CSK's du Plessis is currently the leading run-scorer at IPL 2020, ahead of Kings XI Punjab duo of KL Rahul (153 runs) and Mayank Agarwal (115 runs).
Dhoni and Co are next in action on Friday when they take on Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Dubai.