With Suresh Raina pulling out of this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL), Chennai Super Kings face a herculean task in replacing him. The left-handed batsman has been the batting mainstay for the franchise since the inaugural season in 2008. He is CSK’s all time leading run-scorer and second overall in the history of the IPL.
No surprises then that the three-time champions face a big task in replacing the southpaw. Recent reports have suggested that CSK are unlikely to bring in any replacement for Raina. Well as far as Gautam Gambhir is concerned, the former India opener believes MS Dhoni should take the responsibility and bat higher up the order in the upcoming edition of IPL.
Gambhir feels this is the right time for MS Dhoni to take up more responsibility as a batsman and promote himself to Raina’s slot at No. 3. He backed his comment by saying that since MS Dhoni has not played since last year, he would get the time to settle down if he promotes himself.
“It will be a good opportunity for MS Dhoni to come and bat at no. 3. And he has been away from the game for the last one year, so he would end up getting a lot more balls to face and then he can actually play the anchor innings as well which he has been doing for India for the last couple of years,” said Gambhir.
“So, MS Dhoni at No. 3 and then they have got depth with Kedar Jadhav, Dwayne Bravo, Sam Curran, all those guys they can come in. So, I think it is going to be a great opportunity for someone like MS Dhoni and I am sure he is going to relish that. Also, Suresh Raina not being there, you want to have some experienced player batting at No. 3, so it could be MS Dhoni now,” he added while speaking on Star Sports’ show Cricket Connected.
At the same time, the former Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders skipper stated that stated that it won’t be easy for MS Dhoni to bat higher up the order as he has not played any cricket for over a year now. The former India skipper has been out of action since India’s exit from the 2019 World Cup semi-finals in July.
“He has been away from the game for the last 1 year. It’s not going to be easy because IPL is a proper cricket tournament. The quality of cricket is right up there.
“When you face international quality bowlers, it’s not going to be that easy. When you haven’t played much cricket for the last one year, you want to get back to the best rhythm and practice as much as you can,” Gambhir said.
"This is an ideal time for MS Dhoni to bat at number 3!" – @GautamGambhir
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— Star Sports (@StarSportsIndia) August 31, 2020
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