After defending champions Rajasthan Royals, it is now the turn of the Chennai Super Kings to send back five from their IPL squad in South Africa. Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan, Srikkanth Anirudha, Suresh Kumar, Abhinav Mukund and Napoleon Einstein have been trimmed from Chennai's 28-man squad.
By axing batsmen Vidyut, who played nine games last year for 145 runs, and Anirudha, the son of Indian chairman of selectors Kris Srikkanth, it appears Chennai's strategy is to have more bowlers on their bench.
On his blog on the Chennai website, VB Chandrasekhar, the team's cricket manager, said it was a "tough" decision that could not be helped. He credited Chennai's coach Stephen Fleming for delivering the hard news to the players in smooth fashion. "Flemo played a big role and he handled the situation quite well. I am sure it wasn't an easy task to break the news to the five youngsters, but we thought it was better to retain the bowlers as a cover for our frontline attack."
With the IPL being forced to squeeze 59 games in 37 days, and the tournament being forced to move to South Africa at the last minute, teams have been under pressure to trim their squads in order to meet the logistical challenge.
"The schedule is pretty hectic with a lot of travel thrown in. As such, those carrying or suffering injuries will have little time to recover and the stress would be particularly more on our bowlers," said Chandrasekar. "Hence the decision to have sufficient cover for them and send back five batsmen."