Faf Dup Plessis, Michael Hussey, Chris Lynn, Chennai
Faf Du Plessis during Chennai’s practice session AFP

Faf du Plessis did not feature for Chennai in the opening game of the Indian T20 League 2018 against Mumbai on April 7 at Mumbai. He is suffering from slight side strain and small fracture in a finger. However, Chennai’s batting coach Michael Hussey said he might feature against Punjab on April 15.

“I believe Faf is not in full training at the moment. He is recovering from a slight side strain. And he also has a small fracture in his one of his fingers. He is going to be ramping up his training in the next seven days. He is hopeful to be available for selection in the next game against Mohali,” the CSK batting coach said

Ambati Rayudu opened the batting for Chennai whereas Murli Vijay was not included in the playing XI. Talking on that Hussey suggested Vijay is recovering and will be available for selection soon. He also appreciated Rayudu and admitted the selection to be a nice headache.

It is a nice headache

“From what I understand, M Vijay got a bit of a knock in his ribs. He has been quite sore actually and is slowly working his way back to full fitness. There are always 50-50 calls that can go either way. And sometimes the gut feel of the captain and coach.”

“Rayudu is playing really well. He has obviously played for India and done very well as well. But M Vijay is batting nicely as well. So, it is a nice headache I guess for the coach and captain to have.”

“Vijay… Yeah he is fine, he is ready to go. He is certainly available to be picked,” Hussey said.

Asked what he thought of the Chepauk wicket, Hussey said he expected the spinners to play a bit of a part in the game.

“It looks good. Yeah, it is a little on the dry side. I expect spinners from both sides to play a bit of a part. In general looks like a nice pitch and should be a good spectacle for everyone,” he added.

Chennai faced a big blow ahead of their second game when Kedar Jadhav was ruled out of the league due to hamstring pull he sustained during the game against Mumbai. Hussey admitted that the replacement to Kedar Jadhav will be hard to fill.

It is a big hole to fill

“Losing Kedar is a big loss. He is a class player. He was coming back from an injury and unfortunately got injured again. It is a big hole to fill. Numbers.1, 2, 3, 4 need to take the responsibility and score the bulk of the runs.We lost key wickets at the end of the power play. But we have the players to do be able to do it. We have to play smart cricket,” he added.

Hussey later added about Kolkata being a very strong side and talked about the quality players both team have.

“I don’t think so. They have some quality players. It is a very good spin bowling team. They have also got some match winners there as well. Guys like Chris Lynn and Andre Russell in particular. They can win a match of their own bat or the ball,” Hussey said.

“It comes down, in my mind, which team can execute the skills best under pressure. I think we have got from both teams some highly skilled players and we should see a quality contest,” he added.