Rituraj Gaikwad, the young talented batsman of Chennai Super Kings, has tested negative for Covid-19 ahead of season opener later in the day. Gaikwad was one of the two players- who have tested positive of Covid-19 a few days back.
While Deepak Chahar, the other player, have already joined the CSK ‘s bio-bubble following two consecutive negative reports, Rituraj Gaikwad has to wait for one more negative report to join CSK team. This effectively means that the talented Right-hand batsman has missed the opening match of the IPL 2020.
Last month, Chennai Super Kings had suffered a huge blow when 13 of its staff members have tested Covid-19 positive just days after landing in the UAE. CSK also lost two of its seasoned campaigners in Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh, when they pulled out of IPL 2020 citing personal reasons.
Both Raina and Harbhajan have played crucial roles for Chennai Super Kings ever since CSK’s comeback in 2018. While Raina has been their Pillar at No.3, 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 will 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.
Chennai Super Kings will play defending champions Mumbai Indians, later in the day, at Abu Dhabi. With most of their players playing competitive cricket after a long time, both teams will look to start on a positive note.
CSK’s coach Stefan Fleming, though, looked positive on the eve of match. While accepting the obvious nervousness, he is also hopeful of getting better as the tournament moves ahead.
“The first game is always full of anxiety, nerves and excitement, and CSK-MI has added extra excitement and pressure and we enjoy that. We’ve earned the right to play the first game by playing well last year, and given the way the final finished last year, it’s nice to have another crack at MI. They are a very good side and it gives you a good gauge as to how the pre-season has gone and the areas that need improvement. You get a good idea after the first game as to where your team is sitting,” Stephen Fleming told CSK’s website.