Chennai Super Kings won their fifth IPL title, beating Gujarat Titans in a high-voltage final on May 30 at the Narendra Modi Stadium. MS Dhoni and his men equaled the Mumbai Indians to become the second team to win five IPL championships. All these wins came under the leadership of Dhoni. And it is often seen that MSD prefers more veteran players in his squad.
However, after the championship, one of his trusted teammates, Ambati Rayudu, announced his retirement. Ahead of the IPL final on Sunday, he announced that he would retire after the final of the tournament. Though it had been a disappointing season for Rayudu, he played a brilliant cameo of 19 off 8 in the final to help CSK inch closer to the win. However, he will not be part of the CSK setup for the next season, so it is a big question who will replace him in the team.
Three Potential Players who can replace Ambati Rayudu for CSK in IPL 2024
1. Dinesh Bana
The young Indian uncapped wicketkeeper batter Dinesh Bana, who is famous for hitting the winning six for India in the 2022 U19 World Cup, just like MS Dhoni did in 2011, can be an option. The 18-year-old is an aggressive batter by nature who can play spin and pace really well. He scored runs at a strike rate of 190 in the U19 World Cup and has a reputation for hitting big shots. After MS Dhoni, CSK will look for a wicketkeeper and finisher, and Bana can be the one to invest in.
2. Abhimanyu Easwaran
Veteran Indian wicketkeeper Abhimanyu Easwaran can be another option if CSK is looking for an experienced player. The 27-year-old comes with huge experience at the domestic level and plays for Bengal. Easwaran has been part of the Indian Test side on odd occasions but has yet to make his debut. In his T20 career, he has played 27 games and scored 728 runs at an average of 38.31, with 107 being his best. He is another wicketkeeper option who can bat in the top order for CSK.
3. Mohammed Azharuddeen
Veteran Kerala wicketkeeper batter Mohammed Azharuddeen can be one of the players who can replace Rayudu in the CSK lineup. He was picked up by the RCB in 2021 but didn’t play any games and went unsold in the next two seasons. But his domestic performance has been brilliant. He smashed a 37-ball ton in the Syed Mustaq Ali Trophy and has good records in the shorter format. In 39 T20s, he has scored 552 runs at a strike rate of 134.23.
4. Baba Indrajith
Hails from Tamil Nadu, Baba Indrajith has everything to be in the CSK team. Being a local lad, he is aware of the conditions at Chepauk Stadium and has the experience of playing in the high-profile environment of the IPL. Indrajith was part of the KKR in 2022 and played three games. Though he scored only 21 runs, he has a good domestic record. His first-class average is 51.85 and his List A average is 44.37, which speaks volumes about his consistency.