CSK could be missing the services of Ambati Rayudu and Moeen Ali in upcoming games [Credits: IPL]
The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) camp will be breathing heavily as Ambati Rayudu had to bat with a bruised hand while all-rounder Moeen Ali will be out of action for a week with an ankle injury. Head coach Stephen Fleming, however, confirmed that neither of them suffered fractures.
In tonight’s match against the Punjab Kings (PBKS) at the Wankhede Stadium, CSK were jolted early as Ambati Rayudu left the field in the very first over of the match. He dived and stopped Mayank Agarwal’s cover drive but ended up wincing in pain. In a true test of his character, though, he was the driving force in CSK’s tall pursuit of 188.
The 36-year-old Rayudu returned to the dressing room with a bruised hand and was attended to by physio Tommy Simsek. Then, after going out to bat at No. 5, he kept Chennai’s hopes alive with a jaw-dropping 78 off 39. He fought with padding in his glove and went back absolutely parched as the defending champions fell short by 11 runs.
“The first check was that it wasn’t around the break that he’s had, but it was bruising and then it was just a case of icing that and getting that down. And having padding around the glove, it was good job by Tommy Simsek. But I think it was the same hand that was broken sometime back, so it’s still pretty tender. And a knock like that can obviously cause some damage. Fortunately for us, it’s settled down and he was able to bat well,” Fleming said in response to a Sportskeeda query at the post-match press conference.
CSK have had a treacherous campaign so far. Moeen Ali became their fourth casualty, after Deepak Chahar, Adam Milne and Chris Jordan (recovered). While ruling out any long-term injury, Fleming hinted that Ali will most likely miss their next game against the SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Sunday.
“Moeen Ali rode his injury quite badly. The X-rays revealed there was no fracture, which was good. But there’s obviously a recovery for that as well, maybe sort of even days. Hopefully, it recovers really quickly given that there was no fracture,” the former Kiwi captain stated.
The Super Kings stay rooted to the ninth spot with just two wins from eight games, while the Kings moved to sixth position with their fourth win of this edition.
“MS’ best time is from about 15 overs on” – Stephen Fleming on former CSK’s captain’s batting position
MS Dhoni has scored 132 runs at a stunning average of 44 so far [Credits: IPL]
Ravindra Jadeja has failed to live up to his reputation in IPL 2022, both with bat and ball. Walking out with CSK in a precarious situation at 89 for 4, the new skipper batted right through but could only manage a 16-ball 21.
Asked if MS Dhoni can be promoted up the order considering his imperious form, Stephen Fleming remarked that the CSK thinktank has come to a conclusion that he is best utilised in the final five overs.
“We lost a wicket in the 12th over. It’s pretty close to when we look at MS Dhoni over the last 13 years come in. But today, it was in the 12th over. And it’s the captain prerogative as, left-hander going in. So it was an opportunity. But we have had this discussion a lot – MS’ best time is from about 15 overs on. And Jadeja’s played some good innings for us over the last couple of years from that stage. So we don’t just throw that out just for one or two games,” the 49-year-old explained.
While CSK’s title defence is all but over, Mayank Agarwal’s boys will look to revive their campaign and continue the momentum when they face the high-flying Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in Pune on Friday.