Seems like all is it not well with the Chennai Super Kings , that too just before the commencement of IPL. Mitchell Santner has now been ruled out for 9 months due to an injury , giving CSK a major blow.
Santner is a very hard hitter of the ball and his ability to ram the ball to the boundaries would have been beneficial for CSK. Mitchell Santner is someone who can also bowl highly economical spells to dry the run rate to a great extent. Santner can also very efficiently make use of both the old ball as well as the new ball.
Santner was expected to play a vital role as bowling all-rounder for the turning pitches of Chennai.
CSK would have to go in for someone who can fill in Santner’s shoes . Perhaps , one option is to opt in from the list of unsold players. Santner has definitely left a void in CSK’s batting and bowling which would could pose a challenge for CSK.
Here are the 4 replacements that CSK would have to consider as their replacement for Santner-
Rashid is a leg spinner who has been a match winner for England in the recent years in ODI cricket. A very economical bowler , with the ability to take 2-3 wickets is what can catch CSK’s attention. Rashid has been a handy batsman as well in the county matches as well with an average in 30s.
Rashid’s T20 record is something the selectors might take heavily into consideration. He has picked up 170 wickets till date at an average of 22.55 and economy of 7.45 which is worth praising for a spinner.
CSK has Karn Sharma with them ,who could also bowl and bat when needed , adding Rashid would be iceing on the cake. Imran Tahir and Harbhajan Singh are someone who can’t be overlooked . So a complete spin attack might create problems for the opposition for sure.
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David Willey is a player any franchise can rely on if they are in for short but lethal blasts of runs in the first 10 overs. He plays as an all rounder when playing for Perth scorchers or with Yorkshire in the T20 tournaments. David can easily smack the ball over the fence if and when needed.
Though Willey might not have the necessary pace with him, he relies more on his ability to swing. Also , he is not someone to give the ball to when in death overs .
When it comes to T20 , Willey becomes a completely different player. He has a bowling average of 22 and an economy of 7.83 which is pretty good for bowler in powerplay overs. Willey has a batting average of 23 but with a staggering strike rate of 143.
Willey’s inclusion might even make him as the backup of Dwayne bravo and Shane Watson. He has some experience while playing in India which might benefit him this IPL.
Raza is one of the talented players from Zimbabwe who can make it big when given an opportunity. Sikandar Raza started his international career as an opener . But now, Raza is an all rounder who can use his aggresive style of play at any batting position when called up for.
Raza can also give the team their much needed break through in tough situations. Till now Raza has played 51 matches in T20 cricket and picked up 20 wickets with an economy of 7.37 . Not just with the ball, Raza can be useful with the bat as well , where he has an average of 25 with strike rate of 129.
Sikandar has some idea about the subcontinent pitches as he had played for he WorldT20 in 2016 .
Hazlewood has the potential to emerge as one of the best bowlers Australia has ever produced. He is often compared to the great Macgrath with his consistency and accuracy in line and length bowling. It really gave the cricket fans a shock when Hazelwood wasn’t sold in this IPl edition.
One probable reason might be his lack of knowledge and expertise in the T20 format of the game. Till now he has played 30T20s and picked up 37 wickets at an average of 24. Hazlewood is one of those bowlers who can choke the batsmen in the death overs.
Though Hazlewood was a member of Mumbai Indians in IPL 2015 but his efforts went unnoticed.
Chennai Super Kings would have to work their way out of this problem sooner if they want to go all guns blazing in this IPL. Mitchell Santner might have helped them get closer to the title , but CSK as a team has always managed to bounce back from tough situations.