Former India head coach Ravi Shastri is of the opinion that Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are in dire need of finding someone who could match Suresh Raina’s merits as a cricketer, after they had a forgettable stint in IPL 2022, finishing at the 9th spot with 4 wins in 14 matches.
This was the second time in the history of the IPL after 2020, in which CSK failed to qualify for the playoffs. In both these seasons, Suresh Raina was not a part of the team.
According to Shastri, CSK needs to look for a good middle-order batter to prevent the batting miseries they had to face this year.
While speaking to ESPNCricinfo, Shastri said, “CSK has been doing well for several years, but we often tend to forget Suresh Raina’s contribution. He was a proven player in the IPL. He used to provide stability by scoring runs consistently while batting at No.3. He made things easier for the other batters. They need to find such a player. While Rayudu and Uthappa will still play, it will make a lot of difference if they get some cushion.”
Raina lovingly called ‘Mr. IPL’ by fans, had been one of the strongest pillars of the franchise. With 4678 runs in 186 matches for the yellow army under his belt, Raina was a part of CSK since 2008, except in 2016 and 2017, when the team was suspended for two years.
After having a bad season in IPL 2021 with 160 runs in 12 matches, CSK decided not to retain him and he remained unsold at the IPL 2022 mega auction.