New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: Suresh Rain’s decision to quit the 13th season of the famous T20 league of the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) was a massive setback for Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Chennai. 

Raina, who recently announced his retirement from international cricket, has been a pillar for Chennai in the middle order over the years but his decision of not to play in the BCCI’s T20 league has left huge void in the team.

With the fans and experts guessing who could replace Raina in Chennai for the upcoming 13th season of the BCCI’s T20 league, Shane Watson has revealed the name of the batsman who could replace the 33-year-old southpaw.

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Speaking on a YouTube show hosted by Nabeel Hashmi, the veteran Australian all-rounder revealed that former Indian opener Murali Vijay can replace Raina in Chennai.

Calling Vijay a ‘capable batsman’, Watson said that the 36-year-old former Indian batsman is the perfect player to replace Raina in Chennai, adding that has what it takes to perform for the team in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“He is going to be hugely missed, knowing the conditions in the UAE is hot, more chances of wickets being drier and turning a bit more. Raina plays spin incredibly well as well,” Hindustan Times quoted Watson as saying.

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“No doubt he [Raina] is a big loss but we have got someone like Murali Vijay, who is a gun player. In T20 cricket, he has not got a lot of opportunities in the last few years. But he is a seriously good batsman. He was sitting on the sidelines last year, he might get more opportunities this year,” he added.

Speaking about the Raina and Harbhajan’s departure, Watson said that it would be hard to replace them in the team as the two have a phenomenal record in the T20 league of the BCCI.

“We have to (deal with the absence of Raina, Harbhajan). The great thing with CSK, as with all IPL squads, is that they have a lot of depth. It’s going to be incredibly hard to replace Suresh Raina. You can’t. He scored the second-most runs in the IPL, played the most games in IPL history. He has got records left, right and centre,” Watson said, as reported by Hindustan Times

Suresh Raina had returned to India last month, citing ‘personal reasons’. He later said that Chennai franchise is like a family for him. Meanwhile, Chennai will begin their campaign at the T20 league on September 19 against Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma