Chennai Super Kings face injuries, Conway sidelined until May

Conway’s absence will be keenly felt by CSK, impacting their title defence just weeks before the IPL 2024 kicks off on March 22. 

| Updated: 04 March, 2024 3:34 pm IST
Devon Conway has been ruled out of action until May due to a thumb injury.

NEW DELHI: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) face a significant setback as opener Devon Conway, pivotal in their 2023 title win, has been ruled out of action until May due to a thumb injury. Conway, who suffered the injury during the T20I series against Australia, will undergo surgery this week, sidelining him for an estimated eight weeks.

The New Zealand left-hander, named the player of the match in the 2023 IPL final against Gujarat Titans, showcased his prowess with 672 runs in the previous season. Conway’s absence will be keenly felt by CSK, impacting their title defence just weeks before the IPL 2024 kicks off on March 22.

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) confirmed the news, stating, “Following several scans and specialist advice, the decision was made to operate on Conway with a likely recovery period of at least eight weeks.”

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CSK may explore the option of including fellow New Zealander Rachin Ravindra, who had an impressive show at the 2023 ICC ODI World Cup, as a replacement for Conway. Ravindra, who also faced an injury scare during the T20I series against Australia, adds depth to the batting lineup.

Conway’s partnership with Ruturaj Gaikwad at the top will be sorely missed, prompting CSK to restructure their composition. Conway’s IPL debut in 2022 saw him score 924 runs in 23 matches, making him a consistent performer for the franchise.

The defending champions will now have to navigate the first half of the IPL without Conway, with their opening match against Royal Challengers Bangalore on March 22. CSK’s attempts to minimise the loss might involve reshuffling their batting order, with players like Rachin Ravindra and Daryl Mitchell likely to step up.

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In response to Conway’s absence, New Zealand has called up Henry Nicholls as a replacement for the ongoing Test series against Australia. Ben Sears, an uncapped fast bowler, has been included in the squad in place of the injured William O’Rourke, ruling out a return for Neil Wagner.

CSK’s early IPL encounters against RCB, Gujarat Titans, Delhi Capitals, and Sunrisers Hyderabad will prove crucial in adapting to their revised lineup. The impact of Conway’s absence will undoubtedly be a focal point as CSK aims to defend their title without one of its key contributors.

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