IPL 2019: Injury rules out Bravo for two weeks, big loss for CSK

Chennai: Chennai Super Kings’ (CSK’s) star all-rounder, Dwayne Bravo, will be out of action for two weeks owing to a grade-1 hamstring strain, the team’s batting coach Mike Hussey said here Friday.

CSK take on Ravichandran Ashwin-led Kings XI Punjab in their fifth match of the season today.

The Trinidad cricketer, who suffered the injury during the team’s loss to Mumbai Indians on Wednesday, has been a key player for the defending champions, but went for runs in that game.

“I can confirm it’s a grade-1 hamstring strain and he is going to be out for two weeks. It is a big loss. Obviously, (he) offers so much balance to the team and his quality as a player… So, it is going to cause a little bit of rejigging of the team, but I am sure we will still be able to put together a very strong team,” Hussey said.

“And yes it is a big loss for us but we have had these challenges in the past and have been able to overcome them. So, let us hope we can do that again,” Hussey said at the pre-match press conference.

The former Australia cricketer also said the team would take a call on who would step in for Bravo, adding that New Zealand’s Scott Kuggeleijn would be looked at.

“… yeah, definitely I think so, I am sure MS (Dhoni) and (head coach Stephen) Fleming will be looking at Scott and assessing his death bowling skills. Shardul (Thakur) has done a bit of it, Mohit Sharma can bowl at the death. It is about assessing the conditions a bit as well and assessing which bowlers are suited to bowl at the later stages of the game.”

“You never know if it is a real turning pitch. I am sure there will be a lot of strategy thinking. It is a key area of the game and we didn’t quite get it right against Mumbai,” said Hussey.

Asked if he was concerned about the form of openers Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu, who formed a formidable pair at the top during last year’s triumphant run, Hussey said he was not.

“I am not concerned watching them at the nets. A big score is around the corner for both of them. Watson contributed during the Delhi game and won the man of the match award. Rayudu contributed nicely in the first match here in trying, difficult conditions. You know as a batsman you can get low scores. First watching them in the nets, they are close to putting together some good, consistent scores,” the batting coach added.

About the presence of Ashwin in the Kings XI line-up and his knowledge of the conditions at the M A Chidambaram Stadium, Hussey said having the knowledge is one thing and it was important to execute the skills on the day.

“Well, he is obviously a key player. He will be obviously very keen coming back to his home patch. He knows these conditions well. It’s going to be a good challenge for us to play against him. He will have a lot of inside information and knowledge on CSK, that will certainly help it.

“You can have all that you want, but at the end of the day, it is about execution. We have to make sure that we really focus on our game, execute the skills,” he said.

NT Bureau