Ajit Agarkar
Ajit Agarkar (Image Courtesy - AFP)
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Former Indian pacer Ajit Agarkar has weighed on Harbhajan Singh pulling out from the 13th edition of the IPL. Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh followed batsman Suresh Raina’s footsteps to opt out of the cash-rich league in the UAE from the Chennai Super Kings’ camp, citing personal reasons. However, Ajit Agarkar feels that Harbhajan’s absence would not affect the three-time champions.

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Harbhajan Singh is not only one of the most experienced cricketers but also a successful one. The 40-year old began his career with Mumbai Indians and was part of three winning campaigns for the franchise before moving on to CSK in 2018. He was also part of CSK’s squad that lifted the IPL trophy that year.

Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh. Credit: BCCI

Ajit Agarkar identified that CSK went in the auction with plenty of spin options in their repertoire. Agarkar agreed that losing Harbhajan Singh is not something the three-time champions would have wanted; however, they have choices in that department. The retired seamer pointed out that the yellow army has Piyush Chawla, Imran Tahir, Mitchell Santner; hence, in spin-friendly conditions in the UAE, those players will come into play.

Well, we have seen when they went to the auction, they already had enough spin. You’ve seen in Chennai when they play, they rely so much on spin because of the conditions. Harbhajan Singh, obviously, that kind of experience, quality that you lose, it is going to be a loss, but I think CSK have a lot more cover in that department at least as far as spin is concerned. They have got Piyush Chawla as well that they have brought in. This year they have got (Imran) Tahir, (Mitchell) Santner, so they have got enough spin and they will be hoping that the conditions are in their favour what they get in Chennai, which is a little bit of turn, then those spinners come into play,” Ajit Agarkar said in the Star Sports’ show Cricket Connected.

Ajit Agarkar opines on Deepak Chahar Form Ahead Of IPL 2020:

Deepak Chahar, MS Dhoni
Deepak Chahar (L) and MS Dhoni (R). Credit: Twitter
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Ajit Agarkar hopes that Deepak Chahar is ready for the challenge that he will face in the UAE, given his less preparation time and MS Dhoni’s dependence on him. Deepak Chahar was one of the players in Chennai, who contracted the COVID-19 disease, forcing him to go to isolation. Reportedly, the 27-year old has recovered from the same and returned to training. Chennai will open their campaign against Mumbai Indians in the opening game of IPL 2020 in Abu Dhabi.

As far as Chahar is concerned, I know Dhoni depends on him a lot to start with the new ball or bowls him up front, but when you have not played cricket for as long as all these players have, plus he has had this extra quarantine because of turning positive, might have less preparation time. But hopefully, the fitness levels are there, it’s about getting the skills right and getting some sort of bowling into your legs while they have some practice games, he’s probably going to be ready,” he added.

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