The opening fixture between defending Champions Gujarat Titans will face Chennai Super Kings to be played at Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad on 31 March 2023 in the IPL 2023.
CSK captain MS Dhoni is a doubtful starter as he was injured during a practice session. He did not bat on 30 March 2023. It will be a major blow if Thala does not feature in the opening encounter against Gujarat Titans.
Here we look at the 3 players who can replace MS Dhoni if he is ruled against Gujarat Titans:
- Shaik Rasheed
Shaik Rasheed was a member of India’s Under 19 winning team in 2022 played in West Indies. He was signed by the CSK franchise for 20 Lakhs during the mini-auction last year. Rasheed has featured in only 3 T20s so far.
Rasheed can play as a quality batter. If he features in the playing XI, CSK can go with the batting lineup including Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway, Rasheed, Ben Stokes/Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, Shivam Dube, and Dwaine Pretorius.
Rasheed will give the solidity at number 3 and can allow the rest of the batting order to play attacking cricket. He was there in IPL 2022 for CSK but did not get any chances to play in XI.
- Nishant Sindhu
He was also a part of the winning squad that won the Under 19 World Cup in 2022. CSK bought Sindhu for Rs 60 Lakhs. The Haryana all-rounder made his T20 debut in October 2022 playing just 8 matches.
Known for his left-handed batting and left-arm spin bowling, he is like Ravindra Jadeja. His presence would bolster the spin bowling options including Jadeja, Moeen Ali, and Sindhu looks impressive regardless of conditions.
Sindhu would be a great addition that allows attacking batting and makes life tough for the bowlers. His all-around abilities can create a major impact on the overall playing XI.
- Simrajeet Singh
Simrajeet Singh made his T20 debut in November 2019. He plays his domestic cricket for Delhi and featured in six IPL matches during 2022 with only 4 wickets at an economy of 7.67 runs per over.
Singh could be an ideal choice at Ahmedabad at Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad with the conditions likely to help pace bowlers. Singh could create major damage at the top of the order with the swing available initially.
It will be interesting to see if Simrajeet Singh can create an impact with the new ball if bowling first in the opening match against Gujarat Titans.
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