Ruturaj Gaikwad of the Chennai Super Kings squad won’t be available for the tournament opener between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians on September 19. The Indian A team’s top order batter has completed his two weeks of quarantine, but he still needs ro go through two COVID tests to join his CSK camp.

“We are waiting for BCCI to give us clearance on Gaikwad. He has to undergo the fitness tests (as well).” Kasi Viswanathan, Chennai Super Kings’ chief executive officer, told ESPNcricinfo.

It has been nearly a month since the IPL teams have reached the UAE to get adapted to the conditions. The Chennai based team had a significant setback by having 13 members, which includes 2 players and 11 staff members, tested positive for the deadly virus. As the Chennai team was forced to have an extended quarantine period, the team got back to its practice after all the other teams started practicing in UAE.

After two weeks of isolation, Deepak Chahar, who was tested positive earlier, tested negative and got back to the squad. To CSK’s most crucial relief, the 11 staff members of CSK also got tested negative for COVID -19, and they got along with the management.

CSK was waiting for the young batter from Karnataka, Ruturaj Gaikwad, as Suresh Raina opted out of this tournament. It is said that Ruturaj might be the replacement for the one drop position. Interestingly, Ruturaj has scored a significant number of 843 runs in 15 innings, which is the most by any batter in Indian List A cricket. As he made the effective rums at No. 3 slot for India A, Ruturaj is a like for like replacement for Raina.

As it was expected that Ruturaj Gaikwad would be back to the camp before selecting the first match, now this confirmation regarding his unavailability for the first match creates a significant question mark for the journey of the young Maharashtra born batter.

“Ruturaj will undergo two tests as per protocol, today and tomorrow. If he tests negative, he will be back in the team hotel bubble. The other staff members have tested negative and are now back to normal. They are back in the team bubble.” CSK CEO KS Viswanathan.

Furthermore, Ruturaj needs to come over a cardiovascular test to join the team as per the BCCI’s protocol.

Since the authorities haven’t given any word about England and Australian players’ quarantine regulation, if CSK misses out Sam Curran and Josh Hazlewood for the first match, it will be another setback for the yellow army. So CSK has to think optimistically to overcome the hurdles kept in front of them.

CSK is the only team that is going through tough times regarding the players’ availability. The ardent fans of CSK are not feeling well as the news coming from the camp is not so good for the team. But there is one hope for everyone – MSD. The master tactician might have planned well for the replacements. With his name shining brightly in the squad, CSK is still among the favorites of this IPL edition.