Suresh Raina – who pulled out of the IPL in UAE citing ‘personal reasons’ – wished the CSK franchise luck ahead of the tournament opener against defending champions Mumbai Indians on Saturday at the Shiekh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi stadium. Missing all the action, the players with most IPL appearances said that he cannot believe he is not there along with the team.

“Wishing you all the success boys @ChennaiIPL. Unimaginable for me that I’m not there today, but all my wishes are with you. Sending you all the good vibes! Go get it! #WhistlePodu,” Suresh Raina said in a social media post on Saturday.

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It would be interesting to see the impact CSK has after the loss of ace cricketer Raina. And who bats at the No 3 slot.

Eyes would be on MS Dhoni – who will be making a comeback to competitive cricket after 436 days. It would also be interesting to see the spinners Dhoni opts for at the start of the tournament.

MI would like to start their title defense with a win. While MI is strong in the batting department, CSK has spinners in their ranks who could prove to be game-changers in UAE.

With the temperatures expected to drop in the evening and the pitch getting slower by the day, it is highly expected that the team that wins the toss will opt to bat first.