‘Raina might miss the first few games, but he will be back with CSK squad’

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Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh’s decision to pull out of IPL 2020 due to personal reasons has left a big hole in the Chennai Super Kings squad before the tournament begins on September 19 in UAE. At a time when CSK are yet to announce replacements for either Raina or Harbhajan, former India wicket-keeper batsman Deep Dasgupta said the left-hander might be back in the UAE to join the Yellow Army.

Dasgupta, who has played eight Tests and five ODIs for India, feels Raina might miss the first few games of CSK because of the quarantine rules but he expects the dynamic top-order batsman to be back with the squad. The former Bengal wicket-keeper also hinted that this is perhaps the reason CSK are not too keen to name a replacement for Raina, who is their highest run-scorer in the IPL.

“I have a feeling that Suresh Raina will be back playing the IPL. He might miss out on the first few games because of the quarantine rules and all but I have a feeling that Suresh will be back,” Dasgupta told ESPNCricinfo. “I won’t be surprised if they don’t pick a replacement for Suresh.”

Raina, for his part, has not yet ruled out the chances of his return to UAE to play the IPL. “I’ve been training even while quarantining here. You never know you might see me in the camp there again,” Raina told Cricbuzz.

CSK’s other big star Harbhajan Singh who was the latest to skip this year’s IPL is currently in Jalandhar. Dasgupta feels all-rounder Jalaj Saxena can be an ideal replacement for the senior off-spinner.

“As far as the replacement is concerned, there aren’t too many options. But I think Jalaj Saxena deserves a place, he’s a good enough all-rounder. I think they might look at him, he’s a very good option for Bhajji’s replacement,” Dasgupta added.

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