Within hours of registering their first win in IPL-3 on Tuesday night, Chennai Super Kings were jolted by the news that they will be without captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni for at least two matches.
Dhoni was hit on the right forearm by a Shane Bond delivery during his match-winning unbeaten 66 against KKR and has been advised rest.
Dhoni, who left for Ranchi on Wednesday to recuperate at home, will rejoin the team in Chennai on Sunday, when his condition will be assessed. His return to the playing XI will depend on the outcome of the Sunday assessment.
CSK official Russel Radhakrishnan clarified to TOI that the rumour of Dhoni being out for 10 days is not true. "If he is found fit on Sunday, he could well play against Royal Challengers, in Bangalore on Tuesday."
Chennai Super Kings owner Gurunath Meyappan informed that in Dhoni's absence, Suresh Raina will lead the side and Parthiv Patel will keep wickets. CSK's next two games are against Delhi Daredevils in New Delhi on Friday and Kings XI Punjab on Sunday.
"Dhoni's absence is a big loss for us," CSK's director of cricketing operations VB Chandrasekhar said. "The team is very reliant on him. He is the skipper, he keeps wickets and is a great batsman too. It's a hard blow for us."
Dhoni is feared to have suffered severe bruising. Gurunath said that Dhoni would be paid the entire money as per his contract with the franchisee, irrespective of the period that he will be out. Dhoni's 33-ball 66 helped CSK reach a healthy 164/3 after, at one stage, even 140 looked doubtful. In the last over of the innings, the skipper collided with Badrinath mid-pitch and the latter seemed to be injured too. "Badri is fine now," Gurunath said.