“He is definitely not Dwayne Bravo’s replacement” – Aakash Chopra on CSK acquiring Ben Stokes

Aakash Chopra believes the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have not acquired Ben Stokes at the IPL 2023 auction as a replacement for Dwayne Bravo.

The Chennai-based franchise bought the England Test skipper for a whopping ₹16.25 crore at the auction. They had previously released Bravo, who was part of their squad in IPL 2022, ahead of the auction. The West Indian will now serve as a member of their coaching staff.

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra opined that CSK have not picked Ben Stokes as Dwayne Bravo‘s replacement, saying:

“Only one thing goes against Ben Stokes – the Chennai pitch will not suit him that much, but then he is a gun player. He is definitely not Dwayne Bravo’s replacement, don’t even think he is one.”


The former Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) player believes Stokes cannot compete with the West Indies all-rounder as a bowler, elaborating:

“The bowling Dwayne Bravo does, Ben Stokes does half of that. Dwayne Bravo is a legend, he can be the GOAT in T20 cricket history. Ben Stokes’ bowling doesn’t reach there, in all fairness.”

Bravo is the Chennai Super Kings’ highest wicket-taker in IPL history. The Trinidadian scalped 140 wickets at an acceptable economy rate of 8.36 in the 116 games he played for the franchise.

“A lot will matter on Deepak Chahar’s fitness” – Aakash Chopra on CSK’s IPL 2023 prospects

Deepak Chahar has struggled with injuries of late. [P/C:]
Deepak Chahar has struggled with injuries of late. [P/C:]

Aakash Chopra feels CSK’s fortunes in IPL 2023 will be dependent on Deepak Chahar’s fitness. Chahar notably missed the entire 2022 season due to injury.

Chopra observed:

“I think a lot will matter on Deepak Chahar’s fitness because you will have Deepak Chahar and Mukesh Chowdhary. Simarjeet Singh also bowled well if we talk about last year. They have another option in the form of [Maheesha] Pathirana.”

The renowned commentator reckons CSK have decent spin bowlers in the form of Maheesh Theekshana, Ravindra Jadeja and Mitchell Santner. However, Chopra added that death bowling could prove to be their Achilles heel, stating:

“They have a spinner in the form of Maheesh Theekshana. They didn’t go shopping for spinners. They said Jaddu will bowl, if required they will play Santner, and get Maheesh Theekshana to bowl. This team neither had nor have a gun death bowler. That’s the problem area.”

Dwaine Pretorius will likely perform the death bowler’s role for the Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2023. The four-time champions have also acquired Kyle Jamieson’s services at the auction and might want the tall New Zealand pacer to perform that role.

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Edited by Anantaajith Ra

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