Chennai Super Kings on Thursday became the first team to qualify for the playoffs in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. They defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by six wickets to make it to the next round of the tournament.
The face-off witnessed some important contributions from the CSK batters. In pursuit of an easy 135-run target, the openers – Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis – provided a solid start while skipper Dhoni finished the chase with a massive six and took his team home.
However, it was one batsman who struggled again and failed to score in double digits. Suresh Raina, who was in a great nick in previous half of the tournament, has been finding it difficult to score runs in the UAE. However, former India opener Virender Sehwag believes that the left-hand batsman will be soon among runs.
During a discussion on Cricbuzz, Sehwag opined that Raina must keep on trying to score. When asked if the latter’s batting position is matter of concern for the captain, Sehwag said,
“I don’t think Dhoni would have any doubts about Raina’s batting order. The captain knows very well that the latter isn’t performing well. But he won’t think about replacing Raina with someone else. He knows his team’s batting line-up has depth – till Shardul Thakur. So, he won’t worry about that [Raina’s batting position].”
“Dhoni didn’t come to up in the order but sent Raina ahead of him. But the latter played a rash shot and lost his wicket. MS will surely want Raina to score some runs before competing in the playoffs.
“Sometimes players keep on trying but couldn’t score and Suresh Raina must keep the process on. But he is that kind of a player who might score directly in the playoffs because he has ample of experience with him. He loves to play this format and I think, there will be one game when he will get runs and he must wait for that. Till then, he must go for playing the balls instead of scoring runs,” Sehwag added.
It was CSK’s 4th consecutive win in the UAE leg of IPL 2021. Not only they booked a berth in the playoffs but also lead the points table with 18 points and highest run rate of +1.002.