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IPL 2024: Three players who can open for CSK in Devon Conway's absence

Published at :March 4, 2024 at 7:11 PM
Modified at :March 4, 2024 at 7:11 PM
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Devon Conway has been ruled out for eight weeks due to a left thumb injury.

The IPL 2024 is slated to begin on March 22, 2024. The defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will play the first match of the tournament under the captaincy of MS Dhoni. They will face Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at their home ground Chepauk in Chennai on March 22.

However, before the IPL 2024 even begins, CSK have been dealt a huge blow as their opener, New Zealand’s Devon Conway suffered a thumb injury. Conway injured his left thumb in a T20I against Australia and will now undergo surgery for a small fracture on the joint. He is expected to be out for at least eight weeks.

This means CSK will have to find a new opening partner for Ruturaj Gaikwad, but they are blessed to have lots of options who can take up Conway’s spot. In this piece, we take a look at three such viable replacements for Conway as CSK opener in IPL 2024.

Here are 3 players who can open for CSK in Devon Conway’s absence in IPL 2024:

1. Rachin Ravindra

Rachin Ravindra celebrates a century in ICC Cricket World Cup 2023
Rachin Ravindra in ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. (Image Source: ICC)

Rachin Ravindra was bought by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the IPL 2024 auction and was considered to be a very good pick by the MS Dhoni-led franchise. Ravindra already showed that he can play well in Indian conditions, as he piled up more than 500 runs for New Zealand in the ICC World Cup last year. This included three centuries as an opener, who had come into the XI to replace the injured Kane Williamson.

Ravindra is a good batter who can also assist his team with his left-arm spin. For CSK, he may be the best utility player. For the squad, it might be a blessing in disguise because they would be able to place the youngster in his optimum top-order position. He is the ideal candidate to replace Conway in the starting lineup.

2. Ajinkya Rahane

ajinkya rahane, Chennai Super Kings, CSK, devon conway, Indian Premier League, Indian Premier League 2023, IPL, IPL 2023, kkr, Kolkata Knight Riders, MS Dhoni, Nitish Rana, आईपीएल, आईपीएल 2023, इंडियन प्रीमियर लीग, इंडियन प्रीमियर लीग 2023
Ajinkya Rahane.

Ajinkya Rahane has opened in T20Is for both India and the franchises he has played for in the IPL, right from Mumbai Indians to Rajasthan Royals. He batted at No. 3 for CSK last year and had an excellent outing, amassing 326 runs with a 172-strike rate. He has a very good record in T20s, playing as an opener in 177 T20 games, out of which 120 matches are in the IPL.

His ability to anchor the innings while also accelerating when needed makes him a valuable asset for CSK in the opening role. He has 4400 runs in the IPL with two centuries and 30 fifties to his name. He averages 30.99 and strikes at 123.42. Rahane as an opener will give MS Dhoni the flexibility in the middle order to make changes as per situations in the match.

3. Daryl Mitchell

Daryl Mitchell
Daryl Mitchell. (Image Source: ICC)

Devon Conway’s New Zealand teammate Daryl Mitchell can be another option for Chennai Super Kings to try out as an opener. Mitchell showcased his hitting prowess at the top of the order during the ICC World Cup 2023. He hit two centuries, both of which came against India, including one in the semi-final.

Mitchell has a strike rate of 135.29 in 195 T20s making 4251 runs with 21 fifties to his name. Most of the teams use Mitchell as a finisher due to the power and big-hitting prowess he possesses. But given the sharp mind MS Dhoni has, he could well use Mitchell at the top with Gaikwad to give him some cushion and give Mitchell the freedom to utilize the powerplay.

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