Troubles for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) keep mounting ahead of the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) as their batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad has been tested COVID-19 positive for the second time. It means that the batter will be staying in isolation and can’t join the bio-secure bubble until he returns consecutive negative tests with a 24-hour time-frame.
Ever since the Super Kings landed in Dubai, following their five-day training camp at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, they have been plagued with troubles. To start with, members of their contingent, including Gaikwad and fast bowler Deepak Chahar, tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Among them, only the 23-year-old Gaikwad is yet to recover.
Ruturaj Gaikwad- one of the contenders to replace Suresh Raina
As far as Gaikwad is concerned, CSK sources, as per reports in The Times of India (TOI), have confirmed that he has been asymptomatic right from the beginning. He has been thought as one of the candidates to replace Suresh Raina for the number three position. Raina, who’s CSK’s leading run-scorer in the tournament, backed out earlier due to ‘personal reasons’.
The Super Kings were also jolted with a body blow after veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh also pulled out of the cash-rich tournament. A number of experts believe that replacing the Jalandhar-born tweaker will be tough for the Yellow Army. However, despite his absence, CSK have quite a few spinners on their ranks- Mitchell Santner, Ravindra Jadeja, Imran Tahir and Piyush Chawla.
The pitches in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are expected to be on the slower side and spinners are speculated to make an impact. The Super Kings are the three-time champions of the tournament and a lot would be expected of them. Their first match is against Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai Indians (MI) on Saturday, September 19 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Last year, CSK missed out on an agonising fashion after losing the final to the Mumbai-based franchise by a solitary run. The 2020 IPL is also set to mark the return of MS Dhoni to competitive cricket. On August 15, Dhoni bid goodbye to international cricket after serving the nation for as long as 16 years.