In a major blow to defending champions Chennai Super Kings, star-allrounder Dwayne Bravo has been ruled out for two weeks, batting coach Mike Hussey said on Friday.
Bravo suffered a Grade 1 hamstring injury during Chennai's last game against Mumbai Indians. Skipper MS Dhoni spoke about Bravo's injury after Chennai's loss against Mumbai and Hussey termed the development as a 'huge loss'.
"I can confirm that Bravo has suffered a Grade 1 Hamstring strain and he has been ruled out for two weeks. It's a big loss for us as obviously he offers so much balance to the team and he is a quality player. This will cause a little bit of rejigging of the team but I am sure we will be able to still put together a very strong team. We have had challenges like this in the past and had overcome them. Hopefully this time also we can do that," Hussey said during a media interaction at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium.
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New Zealand bowling all-rounder Scott Kuggeleijn is likely to replace him and Hussey said that Dhoni and head coach Stephen Fleming will take a call on Saturday.
"I am sure MS and Fleming will be looking at Scott and assessing his death bowling skills he will be the key. Obviously, Shardul Thakur has bowled well at the death and so as Mohit Sharma but it is all about assessing the conditions as well. You never know if it is a turning pitch then one of the spinners can bowl towards the end. I am sure there will be a lot of strategy thinking to get the best combination and it's a key area of the game," he said.
"You saw that we didn't get it right against Mumbai and gave a lot of runs in the last two or three overs. So it's really an area we need to try and focus on and execute as it is an important facet of the game," he added.
Chennai has been dependent on Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu in particular and the duo had a fantastic season last year. However, this time both Watson and Rayudu are yet to find form.
When asked if the team is worried regarding the duo's performance, Hussey said, "I am not concerned as watching them both play in the nets they are preparing well and are hitting the ball extremely well. I am convinced there is a big score for both of them round the corner. I think Watson has contributed and Rayudu contributed nicely in the first match here in difficult conditions. As a batsman, you can get a few low scores. They are very close in putting some good, consistent scores."
R. Ashwin for the first time will be playing at the Chepauk as an opponent and Hussey is wary of the fact that the Kings XI Punjab skipper knows the conditions well.
"He is a very key player for the Kings XI and a very good player. He will be obviously very keen to come back to his home ground and he knows the conditions extremely well. It's going to be a good challenge and he will have inside knowledge about CSK but at the end of the day it all comes down to execution. We need to focus on our game and execute our skills and I am confident we can do that," he said.
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