Technically sound Pujara can adapt to any format, says CSK CEO

Chennai Super Kings CEO K.S. Viswanathan believes his team's new pick Cheteshwar Pujara will adapt quickly to the T20 format.

Cheteshwar Pujara was bought by CSK for Rs 50 lakh.   -  AP

Chennai Super Kings CEO K.S. Viswanathan is pleased with the way Thursday’s auction panned out for his franchise.

He told Sportstar on Friday: “We had certain goals and we fulfilled them. I am happy. The franchise is happy.”

Going into the auction, CSK needed two off-spinning all-rounders, one international and one domestic and Kasi said both the boxes were ticked.

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With veteran Harbhajan Singh being released by the franchise, CSK was without an off-spinner.

He said, “Glenn Maxwell’s name came first. We went up to Rs 14 crore for him. But then we stopped because we needed money for a domestic off-spinning all-rounder.”

Then Moeen Ali’s name came up and after a hectic round of bidding CSK bought the English all-rounder for Rs.7 crore.

“We had only one overseas slot and Moeen fitted our requirements. He is a good striker of the ball and is flexible with his batting order. And then he is a capable off-spinner,” said Kasi.

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The CSK CEO said he always knew Krishnappa Gowtham was going to be an expensive buy. “Our captain M.S. Dhoni had given us the names of Gowtham [first] and Jalaj Saxena as domestic off-spinners. Gowtham’s name came first. We went all out for him because we needed such a cricketer.”

Kasi added, “Yes, we paid Rs 9.25 crore for Gowtham. But now we have the flexibility of having one international and one domestic off-spinning all-rounder. We could play either one of them according to the team’s requirement.”

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Talking about CSK’s surprise buy of Cheteshwar Pujara, Kasi said, “It was out of respect for his contribution for India. He is such a committed performer. And we believe someone who is so technically sound can adapt to any format.”

CSK also picked Andhra paceman Harishankar Reddy for Rs. 20 lakh. “He was suggested by our bowling coach L. Balaji. He said Harishankar was sharp and bowled good indippers.”

Tamil Nadu’s promising opener C. Hari Neeshanth was roped in by CSK at his base price of Rs. 20 lakh. So was Andhra’s off-spinner K. Bhagath Verma (Rs. 20 lakh).

In all, Kasi said, it was a profitable day for CSK.

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