The Chennai Super Kings have been dealt a huge blow to their title defence as star overseas pacer Lungi Ngidi has been ruled out of the IPL 2019 with a Grade 2 muscle strain leaving the yellow army without enough bite in their pace bowling attack.
“Lungi felt discomfort while bowling during the last ODI against Sri Lanka at Newlands and immediately stopped bowling. Further scans revealed a Grade 2 muscle strain which will need up to four weeks of rest followed by a rehab program leading up to the World Cup,” South Africa team manager Mohammed Moosajee was quoted as saying by India Today.
Ngidi played an important role in CSK’s title-triumph last season. Playing his maiden season in the IPL, the right-arm fast bowler claimed 11 wickets with an economy rate of just six.
Therefore, CSK will feel pinched with the absence of Ngidi leaving them with a very thin line of frontline fast bowlers. Their choices of frontline fast bowlers are Deepak Chahar, Mohit Sharma, Shardul Thakur, with David Willey of England and Dwayne Bravo being the fast bowling all-rounders. And now with just a day left before the twelfth edition of the tournament gets underway, the Super Kings’ have started looking for Ngidi’s replacement.
“Ngidi will be missed,” CSK’s CEO KS Viswanathan said on the team website. “We are in the process of identifying a replacement,” he added.
CSK will begin their IPL 2019 campaign against Royal Challengers on Saturday (March 23). The reigning champions will be favourite to win the game against the visitors at Chepauk as the latter is yet to win a single game in Chennai.