|‘Raina’s absence will leave a big gap in CSK’|
NEW DELHI, Sept 15: Former South Africa all-rounder Albie Morkel feels Suresh Raina’s absence in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) will leave a massive gap in the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) team and that the franchise would have to make changes in batting order to get their balance right for the tournament starting on Saturday.
Raina, who has played 193 games for CSK, accumulating more than 5,000 runs, last month opted out of IPL due to “personal reasons”. He had travelled with the team to the United Arab Emirates, but has since returned to India in a controversial manner.
“He (Raina) has been a run machine for them and electric in the field, so his absence will leave a massive gap,” Morkel told IANS in an exclusive interview. “They (CSK) will probably have to make a few changes now to cover for him and get the balance of the team right.”
Much of the focus on this year’s IPL will be on MS Dhoni as it would be the first time he would take the field after the ICC World Cup in England where India reached the semifinals. Dhoni has been on a sabbatical since then and on August 15, he announced retirement from international cricket.
Morkel showered praise on Dhoni. “I enjoyed my time at CSK the most. We had six very successful years, but apart from that the group of players really got along. Dhoni was the cornerstone of our success. He is someone who leads by example,” he said. “He is obviously very skillful in what he does, but also has the ability to stay calm under immense pressure. Other players reach their ‘breaking points’ before him. He knows that and takes full advantage of that.” – IANS