IPL 2020: Three CSK batsmen who can replace Suresh Raina at number 3

The last couple of weeks have been quite tumultuous for Chennai Super Kings. Since coming to UAE, they have been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Around 13 members of the CSK camp were tested positive for the Coronavirus. While they are still in quarantine, the entire team’s isolation was extended as well  and unlike the rest of the teams, CSK had to start the training late.

This news was followed by their star batsman Suresh Raina deciding to go back to India due to personal reasons. The experienced Harbhajan Singh followed next and decided to not fly to UAE and pulled himself out of the competition due to personal reasons. While CSK has a number of spinners in their team to make up for Harbhajan Singh, they will surely miss Suresh Raina who has been one of their mainstays for more than a decade now. But someone’s loss is somebody else’s gain. Raina’s absence has opened the floodgates for a few other players.

Let us have a look at three players who can replace Suresh Raina at number three for Chennai Super Kings.

3. Ambati Rayudu-

Ambati Rayudu, an IPL veteran and a man who has achieved the rare feat of winning 4 IPL trophies, with 3300 runs in 147 games, is the likeliest candidate to bat at number 3 for Chennai. He was an extremely successful player for Mumbai Indians till 2017 playing a number of crucial innings in the middle order. But his promotion as an opener for CSK in 2018 did wonders for him and the team as he performed beyond expectations scoring 602 runs. The experience he possesses and his ability to play both spin and pace with considerable ease make him a very strong candidate to occupy the number three spot for Chennai Super Kings this season.

2. Ruturaj Gaikwad-

Ruturaj Gaikwad is one of the most promising young batsmen in India today. Gaikwad, who hails from Pune has phenomenal numbers for his state team Maharashtra having scored 843 runs in 28 T20 games at an average of 33.7 and strike rate of 135.3. Chennai Super Kings lapped him up in the 2019 auction but he, unfortunately, didn’t find a spot in a star-studded Chennai eleven. This year could be Gaikwad’s chance to shine on the big stage. The 23-year old might not be able to fill in the big boots of Raina just yet, but playing at number three in this season is sure to benefit him and Chennai in the long run. Gaikwad at three is an option Chennai should surely explore.

1. Narayan Jagadeesan-

A player who has been with Chennai since 2018, but hasn’t got a game yet, is Narayan Jagadeesan. Another talented youngster, Jagadeesan is a wicket-keeper batsman from Tamil Nadu who has shown a lot of promise in domestic cricket. The 24-year old has scored 305 runs in 20 innings in T20 cricket. He might not be the biggest hitter of the ball, but he has shown in the Tamil Nadu Premier League, that he is a reliable and technically solid batsman. On the difficult pitches of UAE, a player like Jagadeesan who can grind it out could be very valuable to CSK. This looks like the perfect opportunity to give the talented batsman a go at the highest level.