Chennai Super Kings opener Shane Watson believes that their senior batsman Murali Vijay has a bigger role to in this year’s IPL. Answering to the Raina question on a YouTube show, the all-rounder claimed that Vijay might be the one player, CSK would look upto in Raina’s absence.
Last month, Chennai Super Kings suffered a huge blow when two of its seasoned campaigners Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh pulled out of IPL 2020 citing personal reasons. Both Raina and Harbhajan have played crucial roles for Chennai Super Kings ever since their comeback in 2018. While Raina has been the Pillar at No.3 for them, Harbhajan grabbed 16 wickets last season as CSK made it to the finals of IPL 2019.
In the absence of the seasoned duo, the CSK might have to bank upon the likes of Murali Vijay and their newbie Piyush Chawla to come good on the slow tracks of the UAE. Murali Vijay was the star kid of CSK before he fell down in the packing order for past couple of years.
In the last two years, he has not played as often as he would have liked to. However, Watson is optimistic of Murali Vijay coming good in IPL 2020 and said, “No doubt he [Raina] is a big loss but we have got someone like Murali Vijay, who is a gun player. In T20 cricket, he has not got a lot of opportunities in the last few years, But he is a seriously good batsman. He was sitting on the sidelines last year, he might get more opportunities this year” to Nabeel Hashmi, Quetta Gladiators’ head of player acquisitions.
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Watson also spoke on the effect Harbhajan’s absence could make. Watson said that while the team will miss the spinner’s quality, Piyush Chawla might do the task for CSK this time. “Harbhajan, of course, has done incredibly well for CSK in the last couple of years. But again, on the other side, there is going to be opportunities for someone like Piyush Chawla who has come over from the Knight Riders. Of course, their experience and quality is going to be missed but you have got to make the most of the situation,” Shane Watson said.
Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians will face of each other in the tournament-opener on September 19. After a six-month long break due to Covid-19, most of the players from both sides will start afresh.