Veteran Chennai Super Kings (CSK) spinner Imran Tahir has been a match-winner for his side. In the 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Tahir finished as the highest wicket-taker with 26 scalps in 17 games.
Despite such a powerful performance, the last year’s purple-cap holder hasn’t yet got the opportunity in the ongoing thirteenth season of the cash-rich league. CSK have played eight games so far in IPL 2020. They have come up with spinners like Piyush Chawla and Karn Sharma, but Tahir is still warming the bench.
One of the reasons behind this is the overseas combination of CSK. They have two foreign players as the top order batsmen in the form of Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis. Similarly, the remaining two slots are fulfilled by all-rounders, Sam Curran and Dwayne Bravo.
However, CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan has given hints that Tahir will soon feature in the playing XI of the three-time champions.
While speaking to ANI, Viswanathan said that the conditions in the UAE have forced the team management to go in with two foreign batsmen and two fast bowling all-rounders. Viswanathan said that he expects the leg-spinner to come into picture in the second-half stage of the tournament as the wickets will now start turning.
“He will definitely come into the picture as we go ahead. Right now, with the conditions on offer, the team composition has been planned with two foreigners at the top as pure batsmen and then two pace bowling all-rounders. But he will come in with the wickets starting to take a turn in the second half. You have the 4-foreigner restriction, so you always plan according to the conditions on offer,” explained Viswanathan.
Even Tahir himself understands the logic behind maintaining a proper team composition. The former South Africa international chatted with commentators during the game against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and said he is ready for his turn whenever the opportunity comes at him.
“It has been difficult sitting out, but I have to be honest, I am enjoying, and I know how we go about it as a team. I am happy if we are doing well and waiting for my opportunity and hopefully will be ready when I get it. Will be a good challenge playing against the young Indian talent. I see the pitches have started spinning a little bit,” said Tahir.
“Not looking at any player”: CSK CEO on mid-transfer process
The absence of Suresh Raina has hurt CSK as they lack a suitable middle-order batsman. Since the mid-transfer window has been opened, they could look for a couple of Indian players to strengthen their middle-order. But Viswanathan thinks otherwise. In fact, he made it clear that the team management isn’t looking at trading.
“CSK has never brought or released players in the mid-season transfer window, and we have honestly not even gone through the rules and regulations that come into play if we are looking at a transfer. We are not looking at any player,” added Viswanathan.
The Super Kings CEO further explained the decision of not going for the mid-transfer window by saying that teams prepare for every situation and pick players accordingly during the auctions.
“It is a competition after all, and I don’t think anyone would want to loan players to another franchise. Some might be playing and others might not, but all players are picked at the auction with numerous plans in mind and for different situations that might arise during the course of the tournament. You do not go in with just Plan A. You have an A, B, C and D,” Viswanathan added further.