Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan has opined that it will be very difficult for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to find a replacement for Harbhajan Singh for IPL 2020. He reasoned that there is a dearth of quality off-spinning options in domestic cricket.
Irfan Pathan made this observation during an interaction on Star Sports.
The former left-arm pacer was asked if he feels CSK can make do without Harbhajan Singh given that Suresh Raina, another off-spinner who could have been very handy for the franchise in the UAE, also recently withdrew from IPL 2020.
Pathan responded that he still has hopes of Suresh Raina rejoining the CSK squad in the UAE.
"I have hope and I personally also want that Suresh Raina comes back, there is a chance for that."
He observed that it will be very difficult for CSK to get a quality replacement for Harbhajan Singh, with not many off-spinning options available in Indian 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."
Irfan Pathan on CSK's search for Harbhajan Singh's replacement
Irfan Pathan revealed that the CSK team management is considering a few bowlers who could be replacements for the Turbanator while iterating that it would be very tough to get a suitable replacement for him.
"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."
Pathan, who has also represented CSK in the past, observed that although Suresh Raina could still make a return, Harbhajan Singh not representing them is a huge setback for the franchise.
"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."
Irfan Pathan reasoned that Harbhajan Singh has shown his efficacy against left-handers while also proving to be a potent weapon in the powerplay overs.
"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."
Harbhajan Singh is the joint third-highest wicket-taker in the history of the IPL. The wily off-spinner has accounted for 150 wickets, at a respectable average of 26.44 along with an impressive economy rate of 7.05.
Published 06 Sep 2020, 14:05 IST