Former New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris feels Chennai Super Kings will find it tough to replace Suresh Raina in the 13th edition of Indian Premier League, set to begin on September 19 in Abu Dhabi. Despite a strong squad with a lot of depth, Styris feels Raina’s caliber and class would be hard to match. The New Zealander backs Ambati Rayudu to replace Raina at No.3 for the three-time champions.
Raina won’t be available as the batsman returned home to India from the United Arab Emirates last month.
The 33-year-old Raina is the highest run-scorer in the competition for CSK. “Personally, I’d put Rayudu in there to take that spot,” Styris said on Cricket Connected show on STAR Sports.
“Tough one, isn’t it, a player of that class, a player who has been so good for so long. He suddenly finds those runs, even in the field and [can bowl]; it’s going to be a big task [to replace him].”
“I know that the CSK squad is deep, they’ve got a lot of options at the top, but I also believe that as much as the pressure is now on to find that No. 3, it’s just probably the most challenging time that I can look for anyway for CSK,” he said.
“A couple of options they could go with, the two overseas players at the top and bring in the youngster [Ruturaj] Gaekwad as well or they may decide to have a pitch-hitter. I know that Simon Doull, my fellow New Zealander, felt that Mitchell Santner could go to the top. Maybe even someone like [Ravindra] Jadeja, too, who we have seen in India colours, has been so good, so they need to find that No.3,” he said.