Deepak Chahar was the second most expensive signing in the IPL 2022 auction.
Wasim Jaffer believes Chennai Super Kings (CSK) won’t ask for a replacement for lead pacer Deepak Chahar in IPL 2022. He said the franchise believe in continuity and will only expect better performances from the same team.
One of the key cogs behind CSK’s last two title wins, Chahar injured himself twice in two months and was recently ruled out of the entire season. Although franchises have the option to sign a replacement from the unsold lot at the auction, CSK hasn’t exercised it yet for their record ₹14 crore signing. They have instead tried out new fast-bowlers and experimented with their team combinations.
Speaking to ESPNcricinfo ahead of CSK’s match against Punjab Kings (PBKS) on Sunday, Jaffer argued that the defending champions would have already asked for a replacement if they wanted to.
The former Indian batter said:
“I don’t know, it doesn’t seem like they are going for a replacement. They would have by now because they have already played five matches. I don’t know the playoffs situation but we’ve been seeing Chennai for years and they don’t make a lot of changes. They’ll show confidence in the same team and expect better performance.”
Uncapped pacers Tushar Deshpande and Mukesh Choudhary have been used with the new ball so far but neither has been particularly impressive. Asked if the franchise could look at the star all-rounder of India’s 2022 U-19 World Cup campaign, Rajvardhar Hangargekar, Jaffer said it looks unlikely for now.
“If they wanted to play him, would have given him chance from the start. Now that you’ve already invested 3 matches in Mukesh Choudhary so they want to try and stick with him. And this is Chennai’s policy as well – they rarely bring in new players else they maintain that continuity. I don’t think we’ll see Hangargekar just yet. He might get in at a later stage in the tournament. This team will probably continue till then.”
CSK will find it easier to continue with the same team after registering their first win of the season on Tuesday. They defeated the high-flying (although a bit depleted) Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by 23 runs, with Robin Uthappa (88 off 50) and Shivam Dube (95* off 46) leading the charge.
“Unless your top four does well, getting to that 200 score is very difficult” – Wasim Jaffer
Wasim Jaffer added that for CSK to continue their momentum and have a shot at the playoffs, they’ll have to maintain the same template where two of the top-four batters take the onus to play the big knocks. The Ranji Trophy legend said:
“Two of these four batters will have to do well like Robin Uthappa and Shivam Dube did in the last match. Ruturaj Gaikwad will have to step up a bit, Moeen Ali is a brilliant player, we can expect him to bounce back. So these four have the main responsibility. Then Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni will follow, Ravindra Jadeja has special abilities as well but unless your top-four does well, getting to that 200 score is very difficult. Chennai will want two of their batters to click, score 80-90 or 60-70 and take them to that score.”
The CSK-PBKS clash will commence at 7:30 pm IST at Pune’s MCA Stadium on Sunday. While Chennai are ninth with just two points from five games, Punjab are fifth with six points from five outings.