Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have suffered a major setback ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 as fast bowler Mukesh Choudhary has been ruled out of the tournament due to a stress fracture. CSK will play their first match of the tournament against the defending champions Gujarat Titans (GT) on Friday, March 31.

Choudhary, who made his IPL debut in the last season and picked up 16 wickets, is currently recovering from a stress fracture at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. The 26-year-old pacer from Maharashtra was one of the shining stars for CSK in an otherwise forgettable 2022 campaign. He was bought by the franchise for INR 20 lakh in the auction before the last season.

The omission of Choudhary is the latest in a series of injury blows that CSK has suffered before the start of the 2023 IPL. Earlier, the franchise lost the services of New Zealand all-rounder Kyle Jamieson due to an injury.

To replace Mukesh, CSK have roped in left-arm pacer Akash Singh.

Akash, who has played nine T20 matches, nine List A matches, and five First-Class games, previously played for Rajasthan Royals (RR). He was also part of India’s Under-19 World Cup team in 2020. The 20-year-old pacer has a total of 31 wickets in his career across all formats. He joins the CSK squad for his base price of INR 20 lakh.

However, it remains to be seen how CSK will cope with the absence of Mukesh as he was a vital cog in their bowling unit last season. The MS Dhoni-led team has a good mix of experienced players and youngsters, and it will be interesting to see how they perform in the upcoming tournament. With Akash now in the squad, CSK will be hoping that he can fill the void left by Mukesh and contribute to the team’s success in IPL 2023.


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