Things haven’t been going great for Chennai Super Kings, both on and off the field. The Defending Champions, who were already without Deepak Chahar and Adam Milne, will now be without Moeen Ali at least for a couple of games. The all-rounder from England has suffered an ankle injury but head coach Stephen Fleming is hopeful that he would make a quick recovery in a week's time.
"He rolled his ankle, X-rays revealed there was no fracture but there is always a recovery period maybe seven days. We are hopeful the recovery will be quick given that there is no fracture," Fleming said at the post-match press conference on Monday.
Moeen, who was one of the key members of the CSK side that won the title last season, has struggled with the bat and ball both in the ongoing edition of the league. While Moeen has scored 87 runs at an average of 17.40, including a 48 against Sunrisers Hyderabad, he has gone wicketless so far, conceding 68 runs in the eight overs that he has bowled.
CSK have been marred with injuries this season with pacers Chahar and Milne already ruled out of the tournament. On Monday, Ambati Rayudu bruised his hand while fielding in the first innings against Punjab Kings and needed treatment. The batter then kept CSK in the chase smashing seven boundaries and six sixes in his 39-ball 78 after the top order failed once again.
"The first check was around the break and his hand was bruising. It was just a case of icing that and getting that down and I think a little padding around the glove. It was the same hand that was broken sometime back, so it's still pretty tender and a knock like that can obviously cause some damage," Fleming said.
The New Zealander defended the decision to send the out-of-form Ravindra Jadeja ahead of the MS Dhoni, who scripted a memorable three-wicket victory against Mumbai Indians in the previous game. The veteran wicketkeeper-batter had hit a six and two fours in the final over to seal the match in CSK's favour.
"We lost the wicket in the 12th (13th) over, pretty close to when we've seen MS Dhoni come in in the last 13 years, but today it was in the 12th over. We had this discussion a lot, MS' best time is from about 15 overs onwards and Jadeja has played some good innings for us from the stage and we don't throw that out based on 1-2 games."
When asked if Under-19 World Cup star Rajvardhan Hangargekar will be given a chance this season given CSK's depleted bowling unit, Fleming said "at some stage, but we have to be careful I know he's performed really well at the U-19 level but this (IPL) is a step up."
"We are very conscious of the skills that he needs, we don't want to throw him and do damage, we want to make sure we realise that potential he's got. He is on an excellent program with us and has made big gains already and if the opportunity arrives this season we will use him."
(With inputs from PTI)