Ajit Agarkar, the former Indian pacer, feels that Harbhajan Singh’s absence won’t affect much as CSK have several options as well in their squad to replace him in the starting XI. Chennai Super Kings who are led by MS Dhoni have been shaken with multiple massive blows ahead of their IPL 2020 campaign.
After being shaken by news of their members testing positive for corona-virus, CSK were jolted by the departure of vice-captain leading run-scorer for CSK Suresh Raina. Adding to their woes, veteran Harbhajan Singh who is 2nd leading wicket-taker in IPL also pulled out of the tournament citing personal reasons. It will be a tough task for the franchise to fill the void left by Harbhajan Singh.
Ajit Agarkar Feels CSK Have Enough Spin Options In Piyush Chawla, Imran Tahir And Mitchell Santner To Cover Up Harbhajan Singh’s Loss In Spin Department
Ajit Agarkar Feels CSK had enough spin options even excepting Harbhajan Singh. They have match-winning spinners like Imran Tahir of South Africa, Indian Piyush Chawla and Mitchell Santner of New Zealand. They can also give the ball to spinner all-rounder experienced Ravindra Jadeja and play Karn Sharma in some matches. They can also give an opportunity to part-time spinner Kedhar Jadhav.
“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, the 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,” said Agarkar on Star Sports’ Cricket Connected.
Ajit Agarkar also opined that players like Piyush Chawla, Mitchell Santner and Imran Tahir can deliver match-winning performances as well.
“They have got Piyush Chawla as well that they have brought in. This year they have got Tahir, 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,” said Agarkar.
Piyush Chawla like Harbhajan Singh has taken 150 wickets from 157 matches averaging 27.14. Harbhajan Singh had also picked up 150 wickets from 160 matches. Imran Tahir has taken 79 wickets from 55 matches at an extraordinary average of 20.39 while Mitchell Santner have picked up 4 wickets from 4 matches all in 2019 averaging 23.5. Ravindra Jadeja have 108 wickets from 170 matches averaging 29.18.
Ajit Agarkar Gives Opinion On Fate Of Pacer Deepak Chahar
Ajit Agarkar also opined on the fate of pacer Deepak Chahar. CSK were shaken when their 13 members including two players– Deepak Chahar and Rituraj Gaikwad tested positive by the deadly virus upon reaching UAE. According to Ajit Agarkar, Deepak Chahar might not be added in the initial matches of the tournament.
“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,” Agarkar concluded.
CSK have Josh Hazlewood of Australia, Lungi Ngidi of South Africa, Dwayne Bravo of West Indies and Sam Curran of England as the other pace options. Experienced Australian all-rounder Shane Watson can also be looked upon. Shardul Thakur is one option if an Indian pacer is given a chance.