The 15th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is just a fortnight ahead, and the defending champions are still waiting for the fitness updates of their two key players- Deepak Chahar and Ruturaj Gaikwad. The duo sustained injuries during India’s recent home assignment against the West Indies and are currently recovering at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.
While Chennai has brought back their core strength which guided the franchise in their last year’s triumph, the uncertainty over the presence of Chahar and Gaikwad is indeed a big blow for Dhoni & Co. However, former Indian cricketer Irfan Pathan has suggested a name of a young prodigy who could be an apt substitute for their new-ball bowler Chahar.
The Chennai franchise bought Rajvardhan Hangargekar, who starred in India’s U-19 World Cup campaign for a sum of ₹1.5 crores in the recent mega auction, and Pathan believes he could be entrusted with a place in the XI until Chahar comes back. While speaking to Star Sports, Irfan backed Hangargekar saying he has shown his six-hitting prowess during the U-19 World Cup and carries great skills to bowl and pick crucial wickets.
no looks from hangargekar pic.twitter.com/e4gukWDVtE
— ‘ (@Ashwin_tweetz) March 10, 2022
Rajvardhan Hangargekar is practicing bowling in the Nets ahead of IPL 2022. pic.twitter.com/MOdksrzphb
— CricketMAN2 (@ImTanujSingh) March 10, 2022
Irfan added by saying that, Hangargekar’s performance will be vital, and if he performs well and looks promising to the CSK management, he can get a crucial role in the squad.
“Although CSK management will be hoping for Chahar to return, if he stays out, then U-19 prodigy can play a crucial role in CSK’s run to defend the title.”
Pathan also hailed Dhoni’s strategy to trust their core strength and roped in most of their players from the previous edition. The franchise retained players like Ravindra Jadeja, Moen Ali, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Dhoni, while they bought back names like Uthappa, Rayudu and Bravo.
MS Dhoni-led Chennai side in part of Group B and will take on its fellow group members Sunrisers Hyderabad, Punjab Kings, RCB, and new franchise Gujarat Giants two times each. They will also face their Group A counterparts Mumbai Indians twice, apart from facing the remaining teams once.