IPL 2021 – MS Dhoni’s CSK struggling for Josh Hazlewood Replacement? Covid-19 outbreak has put Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in a difficult situation. MS Dhoni’s CSK is struggling to find a replacement for Josh Hazlewood. After the Australian paceman unexpectedly pulled out of IPL 2021, CSK has contacted few players but without much success. Reason, everyone is ‘reluctant to join and play in Mumbai’ due to Covid-19.
It is worth noting that CSK is currently based in Mumbai and will play their first 5 matches in the city.
IPL 2021 – MS Dhoni’s CSK struggling for Josh Hazlewood Replacement? Mumbai has been facing the second wave of Covid-19 and has gone into lockdown. This development is making prospective players worried.
- According to the Times of India report, Australia’s fast bowler Billy Stanlake was CSK’s first choice but the 26-year-old rejected the lucrative offer playing in IPL 2021.
- Another player who was approached by the three-time champions was English pacer Reece Topley.
“Covid is definitely one of the reasons behind the player’s reluctance to come down. We even contacted Reece Topley, who was part of the England ODI squad. Many of them have contracts with English county teams, and therefore permissions ain’t forthcoming due to the rising Covid-19 cases,” TOI quoted a source.
IPL 2021: CSK now exploring other options, but replacement certain to miss first few matches
While there has been no positive in CSK’s hunt for a like-for-like replacement, they are optimistic of some good news before CSK vs DC game on April 10. The Chennai-side says they might have to use the wildcard soon. “We may have to go for a wildcard and may get one soon enough. But the problems do persist,” the source told TOI.
Even if CSK finalize some replacement soon – it is certain now that the player will not be available for first 2-3 matches.
IPL 2021: Why did Josh Hazlewood withdraw just days before CSK vs DC first match?
Chennai were dealt with a bitter blow just days ahead CSK vs DC game after an unprecedented pull out by Hazlewood. CSK said they were ‘not prepared for such a situation so close to the start of the season.
“It is a sudden development and we were not prepared for it. We will look at various options before arriving at a decision,” CSK official said.
Hazlewood cited bio-bubble fatigue as the reason behind his decision. The pacer, instead, is planning to spend the next two months at home and prepare for a busy schedule with the national team that comes afterwards.
“It’s been a long 10 months in bubbles and quarantine at different times, so I decided to have a rest from cricket and spend some time at home and in Australia in the next two months,” Hazlewood was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“We’ve got a big winter ahead too. The West Indies is going to be a long tour, with Bangladesh (T20 tour) potentially thrown on the end of that. Then potentially the T20 World Cup leading into the Ashes, so it’s a big 12 months, as it always is with Australia, and I want to give myself the best chance to be mentally and physically ready for that. That’s the decision I’ve made, and it sits pretty well with me,” he added.
IPL 2021 CSK squad
MS Dhoni (C and WK), Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, N Jagadeesan, Faf Du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sam Curran, Ravi Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Mitchell Santner, Shardul Thakur, Karn Sharma, KM Asif, Imran Tahir, R. Sai Kishore, Deepak Chahar, Lungi Ngidi, Moeen Ali, Krishnappa Gowtham, Harisankar Reddy, Bhagvath Varma and Cheteshwar Pujara