In a big blow to defending champions Chennai Super Kings, Indian opener Ruturaj Gaikwad is likely to be unavailable for the franchise in the first week of IPL 2022, according to reports. In addition, the MS Dhoni-led side will also miss the services of Deepak Chahar and South African all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius in the opening week of the tournament.
Notably, Gaikwad finished IPL 2021 as the top run-scorer and played a key role in CSK’s resurgence after a below-par IPL 2020. According to a report in InsideSport, Gaikwad has still not recovered fully from the hand injury he sustained ahead of the first T20I against Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, Chahar had injured his right quadriceps in the third T20I against West Indies. Both Ruturaj Gaikwad and Deepak Chahar are currently recovering at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), Bengaluru.
Gaikwad was retained by CSK while Chahar was roped in for 14 crores in the IPL 2022 auction. Meanwhile, Proteas all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius was bought for INR 50 lakhs by CSK.
Gaikwad yet to clear his fitness test
Earlier, CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan said, “Ruturaj Gaikwad is expected to join the CSK camp in Surat by 17th or 18th March.” When asked whether Gaikwad had cleared his fitness test, Viswanathan had answered, “No not yet.”
“We are not aware of their current fitness status and won’t be able to tell you when they would join the squad,” Vishwanathan informed on Sunday.
CSK will start their IPL 2022 campaign with a cracking clash against Kolkata Knight Riders in match 1 of the season on March 26 at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
The rest of the CSK players have assembled in Surat and have started their preparartory camp at the Lalabhai Contractor Stadium.