22.03.2019 Author: C.NAMASIVAYAMThe South African fast bowler Lungi Ngidi won't be part of the CSK team as he has been ruled out owing to a side strain he sustained during the fifth ODI against Sri Lanka. This will be a big blow for CSK who are just three days away from playing their first IPL match of the season against RCB. Ngidi had an outstanding IPL last year having taken 11 wickets in 7 matches at an astonishing economy of 6. CSK would definitely miss him big time.
With only David Willey as the other overseas fast bowler in the squad, CSK will have to immediately fill up the void created by the injury to Lungi Ngidi with another overseas fast bowler. There are three possible overseas fast bowlers to look into for CSK.
#3. Mark WoodMark Wood was part of CSK's original squad last year. He played only the opening match against Mumbai Indians and didn't get a chance to play any other match thereafter. Wood had a decent first over in IPL conceding a mere 2 runs. But his next 3 overs went for 47 runs as the Pandya brothers took a liking to him.
When Kedar Jadhav got injured last year, CSK decided to replace him with an overseas player David Willey. As a result, they had to release one overseas player at the beginning of this year to bring down the number of overseas players in the squad to the maximum permissible limit of 8. CSK chose to retain David Willey and release Mark Wood.
Wood's current form has been encouraging. He played his last T20I against the West Indies on March 10, 2019, and recorded excellent bowling figures of 3-0-9-3. Wood along with another CSK overseas bowler David Willey(4 for 7) bundled out the West Indies for 71 in that match.
In the ODI series that preceded the T20I against the West Indies, the pacer claimed 7 wickets in 4 matches. He has the ability to clock on an average speed of about 140 KPH consistently. Since he has been with the CSK set up before, he would be the ideal replacement for Lungi Ngidi if the CSK management once again decides to bring back a tried and tested player
#2. Sheldon CottrellSheldon Cottrell is the left-arm fast bowler from the West Indies. He has a unique way of celebrating his wickets. He has been in the news of late. In the three-match T20I series against England, Cottrell took 4 wickets. In the first T20I at Gros Islet, he claimed the wickets of Alex Hales, Joe Root, and Sam Billings.
In the T20I series against Bangladesh in Bangladesh in December 2018, Sheldon took 7 wickets in 3 matches. In the first T20I at Sylhet, he recorded his career-best bowling figures of 4 for 28. He demolished the Bangladesh top-order with the wickets of Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, and Mahmadullah.
Cottrell always believes in grabbing the wickets of top-order batsmen. In the second ODI against England in Bridgetown, the pacer got rid of Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan, and Moeen Ali.
With his pace and the left-arm angle, Cottrell is a difficult bowler to handle. He is a wonderful bowler with the new ball. In the absence of Ngidi, CSK only has Deepak Chahar to handle the new ball. Cottrell would be a welcome addition to the squad.
#1. Jhye RichardsonThe Australian Jhye Richardson is one bowler who hurls the ball at good pace. In the recently concluded ODI series between India and Australia, the one player who impressed one and all was fast bowler Jhye Richardson. He came into the series only after the first two matches of the series which Australia lost.
Richardson was instrumental in Australia's comeback victory in the series with 8 wickets in 3 matches. In the series, he dismissed Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and Kedar Jadhav. He also showed his batting prowess in the last ODI at Delhi with a 29 off 21 balls. Earlier during India's tour of Australia, Richardson took 4 wickets at Sydney to enable Australia to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
In this year's Big Bash, Richardson represented Perth Scorchers in 5 matches only due to national duty. He took 7 wickets in those 5 matches at an economy of 6.47. He is a confident bowler who is currently in form. If selected, he would be the like-for-like replacement for Lungi Ngidi in the CSK squad.
In the absence of Ngidi, the need of the hour for CSK would be another overseas out-and-out fast bowler and not an overseas batsman or an all-rounder. The above three fast bowlers would fit in the bill nicely.
Until a replacement is made, it would be a wonderful opportunity for David Willey to display his all-round skills. Who knows. David Willey might end up with opening the batting and bowling for CSK in this year's IPL.