Veteran batter Suresh Raina has been a regular run-getter in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Known as the backbone of Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Raina belongs to the elite group of batsmen who have scored 5000-plus runs in the cash-rich league. In fact, ‘Chinna Thala’ is the fourth-highest run-scorer in IPL history.
However, Raina disappointed his fans in the ongoing fourteenth season of the lucrative league. He did start well with a fifty in CSK’s first match, but ever since his form has dipped as the highest score which the southpaw has managed was 24 against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) back in April.
In the six matches that CSK have played in the UAE leg of IPL 2021, Raina has registered scores of 4, 17*, 11, 2 and 3. No wonder some fans and experts have even started questioning his place in the playing XI after consistent batting failures.
Talking about the same, South African legend Shaun Pollock said that Raina doesn’t look fit enough as he is known for his superior energy in the field. Pollock felt there could be niggle or something the 34-year-old is experiencing.
“He hasn’t been able to find his touch. He looks like he might be carrying a bit of a niggle, he doesn’t look that pacey, that’s what we are so used to brilliant fielding over the years, contributing with his off-spin and smashing the ball out of the ground; we haven’t seen that. No surprise that they promoted him to No.3; that was in a bid to get him some form under the belt,” Pollock told Cricbuzz.
CSK have already qualified for the playoffs, and Pollock opined that they should include Robin Uthappa in the final XI in place of Raina. Notably, Rajasthan Royals (RR) traded Uthappa to CSK in an all-cash deal.
“I wonder if they will give Robin Uthappa a chance. CSK are a team that doesn’t like to make big changes. The longer it goes on, the more you feel they can’t actually make a change for the knockouts unless they make it sooner or later. I’m sure he will be keen to have a go. But if they keep winning, they will want everyone firing,” added Pollock.