Dwayne Bravo — A wholesome package

There were some worrying moments for CSK during practice at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Friday when Bravo was struck a blow in his arm after Ravindra Jadeja whacked one hard and back at the bowler. But CSK says, injury is not serious.

Dwayne Bravo puts an ice pack on his injured left wrist during a practice session at M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Friday.   -  B Jothi Ramalingam

Pace bowling all-rounders are a precious breed. They give the attack more options, lend greater depth to batting.

Chennai Super Kings comprehend Dwayne Bravo’s worth. His alterations of pace, change of angles and the ability to hold his nerve at the death have meant much to the franchise.

Add all this to his adventurous — the full-blooded slash-drive is Bravo’s speciality really — batting and exceptional fielding and you get a wholesome package.

Understandably, there were some worrying moments for CSK during practice at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Friday when Bravo was struck a blow in his arm after Ravindra Jadeja whacked one hard and back at the bowler.

The CSK camp, however, was confident that the injury was not serious. Team manager Russell Radhakrishnan said to Sportstar, “Bravo is perfectly fine, there is nothing to worry about.”

Bravo is not the only pace bowling all-rounder in the CSK ranks. Shane Watson is a dependable, hard-hitting batsman who can pace the innings capably. He might not be as sharp as he once was but you can trust this Aussie to hit the right areas.

These pace bowling all-rounders mean much to the composition of the CSK XI since the side is short on experience on the domestic pace bowling front.

With his successes for India in the shorter formats in recent times, Shardul Thakur is a much-improved bowler but the rest of the domestic pace pack might prove vulnerable in the heat and ferocity of the IPL.

Swing bowler Deepak Chahar has been around for some time, but the promising K.M. Asif, left-armer Kanishk Seth and Monu Kumar are still new to domestic cricket.

And CSK, despite its strength in spin, might need more than one domestic paceman in the 11 if it opts for two batsmen, an all-rounder and a spinner as its overseas cricketers.

Looking back, CSK could have bought local boy K. Vignesh, a fine, young paceman, adept in the shorter formats as well. He has been among the top bowlers in the Ranji Trophy over the last two years. But then, the lack of local flavour in CSK, despite the availability of some seriously good Twenty20 cricketers from Tamil Nadu such as all-rounders Washington Sundar and Vijay Shankar, has left many here disappointed.

More so since one of the main purposes of the Tamil Nadu Premier League was to unearth cricketers for CSK. And several players had exceeded expectations in TNPL.

Young wicket-keeper batsman N. Jagadeesan is one of the two Tamil Nadu cricketers — the other being India opener M. Vijay — in the CSK squad and he is making the most of the opportunity, learning from skipper M.S. Dhoni and batting coach Michael Hussey.

Still, there should have been more local presence in Team CSK.