Suresh Raina might be carrying a bit of niggle, says Shaun Pollock
Shaun Pollock believes that Suresh Raina of CSK has struggled to establish his rhythm in the upcoming IPL 2021 and may be dealing with a little injury. According to Pollock, Raina is an excellent defender, an aggressive hitter, and a valuable bowler, but he has struggled mightily this year.
With three games left in the regular season, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have qualified for the playoffs in the IPL 2021. In addition, the group is working well together and is a serious contender for the championship.
In part because of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis' contributions at the top of the order, Chennai was the first side to reach the post-season stage. The team's finisher and all-rounder, Ravindra Jadeja, has performed well, as has the bowling unit.
'Mr IPL,' as Suresh Raina is known, failed miserably throughout this season. After years of service to the club, he has amassed over 5,000 IPL runs for the franchise. However, the current edition's second leg is proving to be a nightmare for the former India international. As of now, Raina has 37 runs in five games since his arrival in the Persian Gulf state. On a pitch that was ideal for batting, the 34-year-old could only muster three runs against the Rajasthan Royals on Saturday.
Shaun Pollock said after the game that the southpaw may be dealing with something.
"He hasn't been able to find his touch. He looks like he might be carrying a bit of a niggle, he doesn't look that pacey, that's what we are so used to: brilliant fielding over the years, contributing with his off-spin and smashing the ball out of the ground; we haven't seen that. No surprise that they promoted him to No.3; that was in a bid to get him some form under the belt," Pollock told Cricbuzz.
Unlike many other teams, CSK doesn't often switch up its starting eleven in order to maintain its successful formula. Having qualified for the playoffs, Chennai's depth may now be tested in league games still to play. Former South Africa captain Pollock believes that chances for players like Robin Uthappa, Imran Tahir, and Mitchell Santner to get called up are low.
"I wonder if they will give Robin Uthappa a chance. CSK are a team that doesn't like to make big changes. The longer it goes on, the more you feel they can't actually make a change for the knockouts unless they make it sooner or later. I'm sure he will be keen to have a go. But if they keep winning, they will want everyone firing," he said.
The Chennai Super Kings have lost against Delhi Capitals and will be looking to finish the league stage with a win against Punjab Kings on 7th October.