Chennai Super Kings's campaign has hit rocky waters even before the start of the Indian Premier League as reports emerged on Thursday that skipper MS Dhoni might not play the opening match due to an injury.
Dhoni did not bat in the nets after sustaining a knee injury during a training session in Ahmedabad today.
And his availability for the first match remains doubtful.
If Dhoni misses the IPL 2023 opener against Gujarat Titans on Friday, then New Zealand opener Devon Conway might keep wickets or even Ambati Rayudu can do the job if the overseas player is kept out of the playing XI.
This could be a massive blow for CSK, who already lost fast bowler Mukesh Choudhary to a stress injury for the entire tournament. Left-arm pacer Akash Singh has joined the squad as a like-for-like replacement.
In addition, CSK will also miss the services of star all-rounder Ben Stokes in the bowling department.
The England skipper will only take part in the first few games as a specialist batter due to a long-standing knee injury.
It remains to be seen as to who will lead CSK if Dhoni is ruled out of the March 31 clash. Rituraj Gaikwad could be one option but let's not speculate here.
CSK CEO not sure of Dhoni's availability
CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan meanwhile, was asked about Dhoni's injury and availability to which he replied in the positive but even he's not sure of any other development in the matter.
"As far as I am concerned, the skipper is 100 percent playing. I don't know about any other development," Viswanathan told PTI.
CSK look to bounce back in Dhoni's final season
MS Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings will look to turn their fortunes around this year after enduring their worst season in IPL 2022 when they failed to reach the playoffs for the first time in the league's history.
This could be Dhoni's last season with the CSK, a team where he delivered four IPL titles in 2010, 2011, 2018 and 2021.
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