Former India pacer Irfan Pathan believes that the Chennai Super Kings will have a hard time in finding a replacement for veteran bowler Harbhajan Singh, who announced last week, that he will not be travelling to the UAE for the upcoming edition of Indian Premier League.
Harbhajan’s announcement came just a few days after recently retired middle-order batsman Suresh Raina pulled out of IPL 2020 and returned home citing “personal reasons”. Speaking in a recent interaction on Star Sports, Pathan said that he still thinks that there is a chance Raina may return.
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“I have hope and I personally also want that Suresh Raina comes back, there is a chance for that,” the 35-year-old said.
The former fast bowler, who is currently a key member of the Jammu and Kashmir’s team’s coaching department, said that there is a dearth of off-spinners in domestic cricket, and hence finding suitable replacement for Harbhajan might be difficult for CSK.
“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,” Pathan said.
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“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.
“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,” he further added.
The 13th edition of IPL will kick off from September 19th and MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings will be looking to win their fourth IPL title this year.