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'He is their biggest stalwart': Ex-CSK star reveals the first player Chennai will go after in IPL 2022 mega-auction

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 01-12-2021 hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) team members celebrate lifting their 4th IPL trophy after beating Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by 27 runs in the IPL 2021 final, at the Dubai International Stadium, in Dubai on Friday. (ANI ) © Provided by Hindustan Times Chennai Super Kings (CSK) team members celebrate lifting their 4th IPL trophy after beating Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by 27 runs in the IPL 2021 final, at the Dubai International Stadium, in Dubai on Friday. (ANI )

Chennai Super Kings on Tuesday retained captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, opener Ruturaj Gaikwad and all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja and Moeen Ali ahead of the mega auctions for the 2022 Indian Premier League. While CSK released their high-performing opener Faf du Plessis and the 2021 season's highest wicket-taker Shardul Thakur, the most notable omission was that of Suresh Raina.

Raina, widely considered as one of the stalwarts of the Chennai Super Kings, had a poor outing in the 2021 edition of the tournament. The left-handed batter also missed the games during the final stages of the title-winning season with a knee injury. However, Robin Uthappa – the player who replaced Raina in the XI – has insisted that the 35-year-old “will be the first guy” CSK will go for in the mega auction.

“I think he is the biggest stalwart of CSK that we've had,” Uthappa said on Star Sports. 

“He's been such an instrumental figure in helping CSK qualify to so many of the knockout stages in the last 10-12 years. Sureshi (Suresh Raina) has been a vital cog in the wheel, so I think he will be the first guy they will go after.”

Uthappa also said that the only reason Moeen Ali pipped Faf du Plessis for a retention spot is that the former is a “two-dimensional player."

"Having said that, it must have been really difficult to let go of Faf but, I think the only thing that pegged it towards Mo (Moeen Ali) was the fact that he is a two-dimensional player, with both the skills, and unfortunately, they had to make that choice and they would definitely want to retain a player with two skills. But I am certain that they will go after Faf because he has been incredible for CSK over the past 5 or 6 years," said Uthappa.

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