IPL 2020: CSK lose two consecutive matches, miss Suresh Raina badly

Chennai Super Kings on Friday lost their second match in a row of Indian Premier League 2020 after they were thrashed by Delhi Capitals by 44 runs. Chasing the target of 176 runs, MS Dhoni-led CSK never looked in the game and they were restricted for 131-7 in the 20 overs.

Prior to this, CSK suffered a 16-runs defeat against Rajasthan Royals in their second match of the tournament on Tuesday.

One of the many reasons behind Chennai’s lack lustre performance is the absence of Suresh Raina from their squad.

Just days before the IPL 2020’s kickoff, Raina opted out of the tournament due to “personal problems” and left a huge gap in CSK’s batting lineup. He has been key figure for the three-time champions and without him, the team is failing miserably to get their act together.

The southpaw is Chennai’s most experienced batsman and the franchise is now finding it hard to fill the void that he has left as they can’t seem to figure out the best suitable batting order which can bring stability in the line-up.

While Super Kings do have Ambati Rayudu, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and M Vijay to help fill that void, but all of them are right-handers and can’t provide the same balance to the side like Raina did.

Also, neither Vijay nor Gaikwad has been able to soak the pressure and perform upto the mark, while Dhoni himself looks out of touch and is still experimenting with his batting position.

Interestingly, apart from being CSK’s go-to-guy and vice-captain, Raina is the top scorer for the franchise. His batting prowess as well as his energy on the field have been immense in the previous years. It’s not just his on-field activities, but Raina has been a positive influence in the dressing room, a perfect example for youngsters.

If words are not enough then let numbers do the talking as they perfectly portray why Raina can’t be replaced.

  • Suresh Raina was the first player to complete 5000 IPL runs.
  • At present, the left-hand Indian batsman is in the second position in the table of the most runs in IPL history as Virat Kohli is leading the table with 5427 runs while Raina has scored 5368 runs.
  • As Kohli is a right-handed batsman, Raina is now the most IPL run-scorer as a left-handed batsman.
  • Raina, along with Dhoni is the most experienced player in the history of IPL as both the players have played 193 IPL matches.
  • Raina is not only a great batsman, but he is also one of the greatest fielders in the IPL as he holds the record of taking most catches as a non-wicket-keeper in IPL history. In fact, he is the only non-wicket-keeper in the IPL history to take 100 catches as he has taken 102 IPL catches.
  • Till the date, the 32-year-old is the only cricketer in IPL history to score 4000+ runs and also take 20+ wickets. A total of 10 batsmen have scored 4000+ IPL runs, but Raina is the only cricketer to achieve this all-round feat.
  • Raina is the only player to appear in 150 successive T20 matches for a team as he appeared in 158 consecutive T20 matches for the CSK.
  • With 38 fifties to his name, Raina also holds the highest half-century record by any Indian cricketer in the IPL’s history.

The stats are enough to show why Raina is also known as ‘Mr IPL‘ and as of now, the batsman seems irreplaceable, not to mention that his absence will haunt CSK time and again in IPL 2020.