Chennai Super Kings allrounder Kedar Jadhav has been ruled out of IPL 2018 because of a grade-2 hamstring tear he sustained during the team's tournament opener against Mumbai Indians at Wankhede Stadium on Saturday.
Jadhav batted at No. 4 in Super Kings' chase but retired hurt as soon as he felt some discomfort, only to return at the fall of the ninth wicket when they needed seven to win from the last over. He then struck a six and a four against Mustafizur Rahman to clinch a thrilling one-wicket win.
"We haven't picked a replacement as yet but we will go through that process," Michael Hussey, Super Kings' batting coach, said ahead of Tuesday's clash against Kolkata Knight Riders at MA Chidambaram Stadium. "It (Jadhav's injury) is a big loss for us because he is obviously a very, very good player and a key player for us in the middle order. So big shoes to fill for a little man I guess."
Jadhav was among Super Kings' most expensive picks at INR 7.8 crores (USD 1.2 millio approx.) at the auction in January. His injury could mean a return to the middle order for Ambati Rayudu, who opened in the first game, with M Vijay in consideration for the opening slot. Delhi's Dhruv Shorey and Kshitiz Sharma are the other uncapped Indian batsmen in the squad.
Meanwhile, Faf du Plessis is nursing an injured finger and is unlikely to feature in Tuesday's game too. His finger injury was aggravated when he took a few blows while batting in the Test series against Australia. He is also recovering from a side strain and could be ready for the third game on Sunday against Kings XI Punjab in Mohali.
Vijay had missed the tournament opener against Mumbai on Saturday because he was hit in the ribs while training before the match. He is now available for selection for Tuesday's match.
"From what I understand M Vijay got a bit of a knock on the ribs in the first few days of training," Hussey said. "So he has been quite sore actually. He is slowly working his way back to full fitness. He has been training well, though, and hitting the ball nicely. Sometimes, it's just the gut feel of the captain and the coach about which way they want to go and on this occasion [in Mumbai] they decided to go for Rayudu. He has obviously played for India and done very well as well but M Vijay I can say is batting very nicely as well. It's a nice headache for the coach and captain to have. Vijay is ready to go for sure."
Super Kings also lost Mitchell Santner to injury before the tournament began and have not named a replacement for him yet.