In anticipation of Chennai Super Kings’ upcoming match against the Gujarat Titans on March 31 at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ajinkya Rahane, the veteran India batter, expressed uncertainty about Ben Stokes’ role in the season opener. Despite the fact that the franchise spent INR 16.25 crore to acquire the services of the England international, it remains unclear what role the all-rounder will play in the tournament, although he is expected to be a crucial player for CSK.
Before the important match, Ben Stokes sustained an injury to his left knee, which raised questions about his participation in the game against the Gujarat Titans. Nonetheless, the 31-year-old is anticipated to take part in the match, but he may refrain from bowling entirely. CSK batting coach, Mike Hussey, confirmed this development and added that a decision about his bowling role will be made later in the tournament.
As a result, the precise nature of Ben Stokes’ role in the team has yet to be determined, as he could bat anywhere from first to fifth in the lineup. When asked about this, Rahane stated that CSK skipper MS Dhoni has a clear plan in his head for utilizing Stokes effectively in the game against the Gujarat Titans.
Ajinkya Rahane on Ben Stokes
“You will see that tomorrow how Mahi bhai uses him. It’s completely in Mahi bhai’s mind. He will use him really well,” Rahane said.
With Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway on the team, the 34-year-old Ben Stokes may have limited playing time in the tournament or even be completely sidelined. Nevertheless, prior to the start of the new season, Rahane reiterated that he has always been an opener and would prefer to continue in that role, but he is willing to adjust if required by the team.
“I have always been an opener. I have always opened the batting in the T20 format, so not much of a difference in my role. Still, whatever the management and captain asks me to do, I am always open to doing it. For me, it’s always about the team, so whenever I get an opportunity I will give my best,” he said.