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Suresh Raina Image Credit: PTI

Dubai: Former India pacer Irfan Pathan believes that Chennai Super Kings' below-par performances in the Indian Premier Leauge 2020 in the UAE have a lot to do with the shock exit of star batsman Suresh Raina before the start of the tournament on September 19.

Raina opted out of the 13th edition of the Twenty20 event in the midst of a COVID-19 scare within the CSK ranks, and flew back to India overnight.

He has subsequently not been replaced and Pathan is of the opinion that this shortcoming has had a significant impact on the balance of the team.


Pathan, who represented the Indian national team from 2003—2012 retired from all forms of cricket, in January this year, offered his views on CSK’s problem’s in a recent chat on Star Sports Cricket Connected.

“For the first time it is looking that the Chennai Super Kings team is not settled,” he said. “They had problems before the start of the IPL, Suresh Raina went back and they have not taken a replacement for him till now.

“Because of that there have been a lot of problems in the team composition. If Suresh Raina had been batting at No. 3, they could have played an extra bowler. Currently, they have only five bowlers.”

Pathan also said that MS Dhoni’s decision not to give the ball to (batting all-rounder) Kedar Jadhav is also ‘a cause of concern.’

“The teams which have been playing with an additional bowler in the IPL are looking stronger,” Pathan suggested. “MS Dhoni is himself is such a great finisher. He needs to ensure that he plays at least 10 overs and Chennai Super Kings must field an extra bowler.

“Then the rest of the things will be set,” Pathan said.

CSK made a strong start to the IPL 2020 beating defending champions Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi on September 19, but since then have lost their subsequent two games against Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals.

The three-time Indian Premier League champions are scheduled to play their fourth match of the league against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, on Friday, September 3, where they will need a big win.