Dubai: With days to go for the start of the Indian Premier League in UAE, Chennai Super Kings find themselves in a spot of bother after their star opener Faf du Plessis picked up a groin injury during a CPL match recently. With the South African’s participation in doubt because of the injury, the MS Dhoni-led unit would have to look for contenders who could open with Ruturaj Gaikwad – in case that is needed.

It would not be an easy void to fill as du Plessis has been one of the key players of the CSK franchise. He scored 320 runs in seven matches with a best of 95* at an average of 64.00 and a strike rate of 145.45. He also smashed four fifties in those matches.

Who are the potential candidates for CSK?

Chennai does not need to worry, as they have Robin Uthappa, who is an opener. Uthappa could be slotted in at the top with Gaikwad. Uthappa, who has scored more than 2000 runs as an opener in IPL, would be a like-for-like replacement.

The other candidate who could step up if needed is Ambati Rayudu. The right-handed batsman is no stranger to opening the batting in T20. He has done it in the past for CSK and if needed – he could do it again. He also has a century while opening the batting in the IPL.

CSK would play their opening match of the second leg versus Mumbai Indians on September 19.

Chennai Super Kings CSK Squad: MS Dhoni (C), Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ambati Rayudu, Imran Tahir, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Lungi Ngidi, Dwayne Bravo, Karn Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, K Gowtam, Sam Curran, Robin Uthappa, Mitchell Santner, Jagadeesan N, KM Asif, R Sai Kishore, C Hari Nishaanth, M Harisankar Reddy, K Bhagath Verma