Suresh Raina will play a key role as Chennai Super Kings (CSK) look to revive themselves this Indian Premier League (IPL) season, according to former wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel. Raina did not play last season for CSK and the three-time champions failed to qualify for the knockout stages of the IPL for the first time in their history.
“Last year, what went wrong for CSK was that they were not getting enough runs on the board. Then, in the latter half of the tournament, you see emergence of (opener) Ruturaj Gaikwad. Now with Suresh Raina coming in the squad, I think he holds the key in the CSK lineup and we have seen what he has done throughout the years of IPL,” said Patel on Star Sports.
Gaikwad missed much of last season because of Covid-19 complications but he led CSK’s upturn in form towards the end of the league stage, although they had been ruled out of contention for the knockouts by then. Gaikwad scored 204 runs in the six matches he played, scoring three half centuries.
“With (Raina) coming back, Gaikwad doing well in domestic cricket and MS Dhoni, they’re great players and you can’t count them out for too long. He (Dhoni) had an indifferent season last year but he is very determined to get CSK’s ball rolling to start with,” said Patel.
“These are the teams who have done well and they know that once they win the first game or the second game — they can start believing again. So, it won’t take much time for CSK to start the tournament in a positive manner,” he added.
The 2021 season of the IPL starts on April 9.