Veteran India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh opted out of IPL 2020 leaving room for a replacement to be announced in the CSK squad. Harbhajan Singh cited personal reasons for withdrawal which came as an added jolt to the side after Suresh Raina had to return home due to a family emergency.
Former India wicket-keeper batsman Deep Dasgupta, a part of the IPL 2020 commentary panel, said that Jalaj Saxena deserves a chance to replace Harbhajan Singh in the CSK set up. Saxena has been a success story for Kerala as he 347 wickets in First-Class cricket from 123 matches.
“I think Jalaj Saxena deserves a place, he’s a good enough all-rounder. I think they might look at him, he’s a very good option for Bhajji’s replacement,” Deep Dasgupta told ESPNCricinfo.
The right-arm off spinner also has a proven record in the T20s, where he has featured in 54 matches, and picked up 49 wickets at an economy rate of 6.92. He was also a part of the Delhi Capitals franchise but was released ahead of the season.
With the withdrawl of Harbhajan Singh, CSK are left with no specialist off-spinner. Away from the international circuit, Harbhajan Singh has plied his trade for two most successful teams in the IPL – Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Mumbai Indians (MI) – and continues to be a regular in the lucrative tournament.
Harbhajan Singh has never spoken about retirement, but the bright-eyed turbanator still has the thoughts of India comeback on his mind. He has played 160 matches in the IPL, picking up 150 wickets at an average of 26.44, with the best bowling figures of five for 18. He has picked up seven wickets in his last five IPL appearances for CSK.
Singh, 40, has picked up 417 Test wickets and 269 in ODIs for India.