Dwayne Bravo, the Chennai Super Kings’ death bowler and highest wicket taker in T20 cricket, is injured again and, according to his head coach Stephen Fleming, will miss “a few days or a few weeks”.
Fleming revealed that Bravo suffered a groin injury, which was severe enough to keep him off the field, and so he could not play the final over against the Delhi Capitals in Sharjah. In Bravo’s injury-ridden absence, Dhoni entrusted Ravindra Jadeja the responsibility of defending 16 runs in the final over, but Shikhar Dhawan and Axar Patel followed with a ball to score centuries, giving the Super Kings their nine matches. Handed the sixth necklace.
“I think he has a right groin injury, and it was obviously quite serious to keep him off the field,” Fleming said at the post-match press conference. “He’s obviously disappointed that he couldn’t put the last over – that’s too much for the team. He’ll have to be confident going forward, but at this stage you’d imagine it’s a few days or a few weeks, but we Will assess tomorrow. ‘
Bravo had turned up for the IPL in the UAE with a different injury – suffered a knee problem during the CPL – and missed the first three matches of the Super Kings. He did not bowl in the CPL final due to that injury and instead he played as a specialist batsman for the Trinbago Knight Riders. During their first three matches, the Super Kings used pace bowlers Lungi Engidi and Josh Hazlewood, but then returned to the XI against Bravo Sunrisers Hyderabad and have been part of the side ever since.
Bravo impressed with his yorker and slow changes to the Super Kings’ return fixer against the Sunrisers and Kolkata Knight Riders, giving more depth to both the bowling attack and batting line up. According to ESPNcricinfo’s ball-by-ball data, Bravo has thrown 14 yorkers in six matches in the IPL 2020 so far. Only Mumbai Indians ‘Jaspreet Bumrah (19) and Sunrisers’ T Natarajan (40) threw more yorkers in the tournament than Bravo.
Bravo’s injury removes a Super Kings team without two other players already present in Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh, who both dropped out of the tournament due to personal reasons. However, Bravo’s absence could be a chance for Imran Tahir, who was the highest wicket-taker in IPL 2019, scoring 26 runs with an average strike rate of 6.69. Tahir was also the Guyana Amazon Warriors’ most wicket-taker bowler in the CPNL with 15 scales at an economy rate of 5.82 in 10 matches overall.
New Zealand spin bowling all-rounder Mitchell Sentner is a foreign option for the Super Kings. Tahir and Santner are the only foreign players who have not played for the Super Kings this season. With the UAE tracking tired in the second half of the IPL, the Super Kings will look for one of these two spinners to fill a Bravo-sized hole.
The next match of the Super Kings is against the Rajasthan Royals in Abu Dhabi on Monday.