Don't have many Indian batters to replace him' - Irfan Pathan heaps high praise on CSK star
Another season of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2024) is on the horizon as the franchises get busy with their penultimate preparations. Five-time winners and defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will be aiming for another successful campaign when they take the field in the upcoming season.
However, prior to the new season, former India pacer Irfan Pathan has highlighted that CSK will miss the services of a dynamic Indian batter in their ranks.
Ambati Rayudu, who became a household name called it quits on his IPL career after last season. While Rayudu is amongst the leading run scorers in the history of the league, Pathan acknowledged the dearth of Indian talents who can replicate the role Rayudu played in the CSK setup over the years.
Irfan Pathan elucidates how CSK plugged the Rayudu hole
During a discussion on Star Sports, Pathan said, "We were talking about what the Chennai Super Kings were going to do, especially with Ambati Rayudu, because if a player like Ambati Rayudu goes away, you don't have many Indian batters who can actually replace him."
The cricketer-turned-pundit added that NZ batter Daryl Mitchell's acquisition as an overseas player and Shardul Thakur's purchase as an Indian bowler has made up for Rayudu's absence.
"So what you needed to do was to get Daryl Mitchell, an overseas guy, and get one Indian fast bowler as well. They exactly did the same thing. They got Daryl Mitchell and they got Shardul Thakur also," Pathan stated.
The CSK franchise spent a whopping INR 14 crore to buy Mitchell at the auction last December in Dubai while they got Shardul relatively cheap at INR 4 crore.