Irfan Pathan, former Indian seam-bowling all-rounder, feels that it will be very difficult for the Chennai Super Kings to find an ideal replacement of veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh for the upcoming season of the IPL.
Pathan, during a recent episode of ‘Cricket Connected’, was asked about whether the three-time champions can make do with the absence of Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh, considering the fact that the duo- especially the turbanator- could have been pretty handy on the slow pitches of the UAE
The former Indian international reckoned that he still hopes for Raina to make a comeback.
“I have hope and I personally also want that Suresh Raina comes back, there is a chance for that.” Irfan Pathan said.
Harbhajan Singh, the veteran leg-spinner, had taken to Twitter earlier this week to announce that he will not be taking part in this years’ IPL due to ‘personal reasons’.
I will not be playing IPL this year due to personal reasons.These are difficult times and I would expect some privacy as I spend time with my family. @ChennaiIPL CSK management has been extremely supportive and I wish them a great IPL
Stay safe and Jai Hind
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) September 4, 2020
‘It will be very difficult to find a quality off-spinner like Harbhajan Singh’- Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan said that it would be very difficult to find an ideal replacement of Harbhajan Singh due to the dearth of quality off-spinning options in domestic cricket.
“But getting a replacement for Harbhajan Singh will be very difficult. It will be very difficult to find a quality off-spinner like him in domestic cricket. They are trying as well. I have got some information as well that the CSK team and management are considering the names of 3-4 off-spinners but the void created by Harbhajan Singh’s absence is very difficult to be filled.” Irfan Pathan said.
“Because whatever issue Raina has, if that gets sorted out he can come back but it will be a very big loss for CSK when Harbhajan Singh does not play for them.” he added.
Irfan Pathan reckoned that Harbhajan’s efficacy while bowling to left-handers and during the powerplay is something MSD and CSK will dearly miss in IPL 2020.
“Because there are a lot of left-handers against whom he used to play and bowl brilliantly. He even used to bowl with the new ball which used to impact the team’s performance a lot.” Irfan Pathan added.
Harbhajan Singh is the third-highest wicket-taker in the history of the IPL. The veteran off-spinner has featured in 160 IPL games, in which he has claimed 150 wickets at an average of 26.44 and an economy rate of 7.05.