Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will miss the services of Mitchell Santner in the upcoming IPL season as the New Zealand all-rounder has been ruled out of action for about nine months due to a bone defect in his knee and requires a surgery.
Santner was omitted from his country's Test team after scans showed he needed a surgery. New Zealand Cricket said Santner felt some discomfort while playing and scans showed a "bone defect" had deteriorated.
The in-form Santner had been picked up by CSK during the IPL auctions for Rs 50 lakh and was expected to play a key role for the team.
"It is too early to decide now. We will take a call on the replacement for Santner in due course after consulting with the head coach (Stephen Fleming) and captain (MS Dhoni)," a CSK official told PTI.
The Kiwi will also miss the upcoming Test series against England. Coach Mike Hesson said the left-arm all-rounder will be missed in the Test series.
"Mitchell is a key player in all three formats for us, so we'll certainly miss him in the upcoming series," Hesson said.
"It's important though that he gets this fixed and we have him back for what is a big next 18 months for us."
In his absence, BJ Watling, who is returning from a hip injury, is likely to keep wickets against England. Spinning all-rounder Todd Astle has also been called into the squad as a like-for-like replacement for Santner.
With inputs from AFP
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Former India wicket-keeper batsman Deep Dasgupta said CSK should opt for all-rounder Jalaj Saxena as a replacement for Harbhajan.
Just like the previous two years, CSK will once again depend heavily on their experienced international players to make an impact.
Here is the full IPL 2020 schedule of Chennai Super Kings who begin their campaing on 19 September