Chennai Super Kings in search of Murali Muralitharan’s back-up

Chennai Super Kings won’t be putting anyone up for sale in the Indian Premier League (IPL) transfer window that opened on Monday.

The CSK bosses are looking to hold on to the team that helped them reach the final last season. “We have a well-knit unit and there’s no reason for us to sell anybody,” a CSK source pointed out. But they are keen to find a back-up spinner for Muttiah Muralitharan, who can also bat a bit.

“Murali had to play all the matches in the IPL last season, which did get a little hectic for him. To get the best out of him, it’s important not to over-burden him,” the source added.

What the CSK bosses are looking at is somebody in the Daniel Vettori mould, but it’s anybody’s guess whether the Kiwi will be put up for sale by Delhi Daredevils.

However, if Delhi Daredevils choose to put Shoaib Malik up for sale, he can be an option. Shahid Afridi, who is likely to be put up for sale by Team Hyderabad, should have been a decent choice, but the CSK bosses aren’t too keen about him.

Though the reasons for the reluctance about Afridi weren’t cleared, it may well be non-cricketing. CSK, though, have Tamil Nadu offie R Ashwin in their line-up, and the way he has been improving over the last couple of seasons, the Chennai bosses may not have to hunt for a second spinner.

“We’re keeping a close eye on what the other teams put up for sale. Once the list comes, we can decide accordingly,” the source added. CSK will also need to have some back-up for Matthew Hayden and Michael Hussey at the top of the order, who may not available right through the IPL, but for that they are likely to wait till the auctions. With Kevin Pietersen likely to go the Team Bangalore way, Paul Collingwood and Owais Shah may well be in the wish list.

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