IPL 2020: Tournament will miss Raina's talent, says UAE cricket fraternity
Suri, who featured in the Raina-led Gujarat Lions in the 2017 IPL, believes captain Dhoni is capable of steadying the Super Kings ship.
The Chennai Super Kings incredible consistency in the Indian Premier League (IPL) can only be compared to the dominance of the Big Three - Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer - in tennis.
The three-time winners of the IPL, Chennai Super Kings are the only team to have reached the playoffs in each of their campaigns in the world's most famous T20 league.
Several players have played their part in the resounding success of the CSK over the years.
And one such player is Suresh Raina who left his fans heartbroken with is decision to pull out of this year's event in the UAE due to personal reasons.
With 5368 runs from 193 matches, Raina is second only to the incomparable Virat Kohli on the list of the all-time run-getters in the IPL.
The MS Dhoni-led CSK will undoubtedly miss the talent of the attacking left-hander who quit the international stage on the same day his iconic captain announced his retirement.
"Yes, it's definitely a big blow to the squad, you know losing any player in a squad even a less integral one makes a difference and over here Raina, who is the fulcrum of the batting, will mean CSK have to make some new plans," Chirag Suri, the UAE opening batsman, told Khaleej Times on Tuesday.
But Suri, who featured in the Raina-led Gujarat Lions in the 2017 IPL, believes captain Dhoni is capable of steadying the Super Kings ship.
Chirag Suri played under Suresh Raina during the 2017 IPL (Supplied photo)
"The good thing is that if any team is capable of putting this kind of a blow behind them, it's the CSK under Dhoni's leadership. I feel he will just ask the boys to move on and give someone else that responsibility," said Suri.
Meanwhile, Gopal Jasapara, the head coach of G-Force Cricket Academy in Dubai, was saddened by the 33-year-old Raina's decision to withdraw from the tournament.
"Suresh Raina will always remembered as one of the pioneers of Chennai Super Kings' success story. He devoted his entire cricketing career to CSK under the guidelines of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He was there since day one of IPL," Jasapara told Khaleej Times.
"He is still good to play for next three-four years. But the cricket lovers will miss him in this year's edition of the tournament in the UAE. Such a talent and his services to Indian cricket will always be remembered."
For CTK Mashood, Director of Dubai's Tellicherry Academy who played against the likes of VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid in junior inter-state cricket in India, Raina is the perfect T20 player.
"Suresh Raina's absence this year would surely be a challenge for the team management because he brings a lot of stability to CSK batting. The T20 is all about momentum, and Raina is a player that maintains the momentum all the time," said Mashood, the former Kerala Ranji Trophy player.
"He is a brilliant fielder and awesome team player who could change the match in no time. CSK would surely miss his services."
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