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Chennai: There are some clouds in the sky of Chennai Super Kings. After a great early run that booked them a place in the playoffs, they moved to one place in the race for the top-two spot of their choice due to two back-to-back defeats.
With the RCB suddenly shut down, MS Dhoni’s boys will have to win their last match against the Punjab Kings on Thursday so that they can secure a second shot in the final if the first one goes wrong.
In this final sprint, it will be interesting to see if CSK veteran Suresh Raina returns. Captain MS Dhoni said against the Delhi Capitals that Raina was rested due to a knee injury, but it is an old policy of the franchise that an injured player never travels on the ground with the team. But Raina traveled on Monday and the injury that Dhoni spoke of was from the start of the season.
The reason why the left-hander could not recreate his old magic is probably the reason why he was not included in the last match. In fact, it was a touch and go between Raina and Uthappa for the last three matches and Dhoni was waiting for his old partner to somehow return to form. But that didn’t happen and it looks like the captain might not try to put out the fire by publicly mentioning a player of Raina’s dignity.
Now comes the bigger question: will he play against the Punjab Kings? Robin Uthappa, who replaced Raina, did not set fire to the stage. But now that Dhoni has given him a chance after 12 matches, one can only hope he gets another chance before the play-offs.
Although Raina’s question mark remains, Sam Curran has been officially ruled out of the tournament due to injury. This means the rest of the attack will remain the same as they try to block the dangerous Punjab opening partnership of KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. Punjab are unlikely to make any further progress but it could make them a little more dangerous in this type of game.

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