Defending IPL champions Chennai Super Kings have roped in New Zealand pacer Scott Kuggeleijn as replacement for the injured Lungi Ngidi. Head coach Stephen Fleming confirmed the news on Saturday ahead of the team’s third game on Sunday.
Ngidi suffered a side strain in South Africa’s ODI series against Sri Lanka. As a result, he is set to remain on the sidelines for at least four weeks before undergoing rehabilitation process ahead of the World Cup. The Super Kings then suffered another setback on Friday when their English allrounder David Willey pulled out of the whole tournament due to family reasons.
After Willey’s unavailability, the Super Kings were left with just six overseas options to choose from. In fast bowling department, they have only one overseas bowler – Dwayne Bravo. Scott Kuggeleijn’s addition will provide some much-needed depth to Super Kings’ pace bowling department. He is also a handy batsman.
Kuggeleijn, who made his T20I debut against Sri Lanka in Auckland in January, recently also featured in the three-match T20I series against India at home. He is likely to join his IPL team this week for his maiden stint in India.
“For Lungi, we’ve been a little bit more selective. It’s obviously a different level of replacement player (required for him) based on price. We’ve gone with Scott Kuggeleijn, who’s a New Zealand international, who bowls quick and bats well. So we’ve gone for an all-rounder who has good pace and good variations. He’ll be joining us next week,” Fleming told reporters.
Fleming, however, further said that the team cannot look for a replacement for Willey. The former New Zealand skipper made it clear that the team firmly stands with the English star in the tough times.
“We can’t replace David Willey. David’s got a personal issue at home that he’s dealing with and we’re supporting him and we’ll continue to support him. So contrary to some of the statements that have come out, we can’t replace David Willey no matter what happens. It’s just about us supporting him and his family as they go through some issues at home, and we support his decision to be at home. So we can’t replace him,” Fleming said.
The three-time IPL winners, meanwhile, have made a fine start to their title-defence. The three-time winners have won their opening two games by beating Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals by seven and six wickets respectively.
Chennai Super Kings squad:
Harbhajan Singh, Shane Watson, Dwayne Bravo, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu, Imran Tahir, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Murali Vijay, Karn Sharma, Faf du Plessis, Sam Billings, Mohit Sharma, Dhruv Shorey, Monu Kumar, Mitchell Santner, Chaitanya Bishnoi, N Jagadeesan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, KM Asif, Scott Kuggeleijn