Chennai Super Kings will feel the absence of veteran batsman Suresh Raina unless they find out a like-for-like replacement, says former Australia international Dean Jones. Raina flew with the squad to the UAE before returning him days later citing personal reason and is expected to not take part in the season.

Apart from Raina, CSK will also be missing the services of vastly experienced offspinner Harbhajan Singh who too withdrew due to personal reason after not flying to the UAE where the upcoming season will be played.

“Raina’s absence is a major concern this time and he is in the top 5 run getters in IPL. He is a left-hander and plays spin very well and the weakness for CSK could be that majority of their players are right handed,” Jones said on Star Sports’ Game Plan.

As per Jones, the three-time IPL winners need a left-hander to deal with legspinners.

“They need some left-handers or they could get stuck and particularly, if they are playing to legspinners and the ball is going away. So, whether to go with Sam Curran or Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo or Imran Tahir,” he said.

“Shane Watson and MS Dhoni haven’t batted for long. Raina and Harbhajan have gone home as well, so it is up to Stephen Fleming and Dhoni, how they gel the team together,” he added.

CSK made the final last season but lost to Mumbai Indians in a last-over thriller.

The two teams will meet again on September 19 in Abu Dhabi in what will be the tournament opener.

IPL is being held in the UAE due to the coronavirus situation in India and will be played across three venues – Abu Dhabi, Dubai Sharjah.

As of now, there are no plans to allow fans inside the stadiums.