Harbhajan Singh, Ravindra Jadeja’s former India and CSK teammate, expects a huge promotion for the all-rounder in IPL 2023.
Chennai Super Kings, the four-time champions, will look to put behind the disappointment of last season on the backburner when they begin their IPL 2023 campaign against defending champions Gujarat Titans in what promises to be a blockbuster match at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Friday. CSK, one of the most successful franchises in the history of IPL, had last year finished second from bottom with just 8 points from 14 matches. And plenty of reasons can be attributed to CSK hitting rock-bottom last year, with the whole captaincy conundrum being at the centre of it.
Ahead of the star of IPL 2022, CSK handed over the captaincy to Ravindra Jadeja, which was later taken off him and handed back to him after the team lost their first four matches in a row. The captaincy muddle was enough to derail CSK’s momentum as reports of a rift between Jadeja and the team management crept it and the team crashed out of the race of the Playoffs.
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A year later though, things have changed. All is well between CSK and Jadeja and the all-rounder is keen to hit the ground running. Last year, Jadeja missed almost 5 months of action due to a knee injury which required surgery, but after undergoing successful rehab, the star India all-rounder made an outstanding comeback in the Australia Tests and ODIs, right in time and in form for the IPL. As CSK look to add a record-matching fifth IPL trophy in their pocket, Jadeja promises to be a key player for them. In fact, Harbhajan Singh, Jadeja’s former India and CSK teammate, expects a huge promotion for the all-rounder time around.
“One player who I am going to have my eyes on will be Ravindra Jadeja. I want to see what kind of batting he’s going to do for CSK. I think he’ll be pushed higher up in the batting order (this season). As well as his four overs with the ball (will be key). If you look at world cricket currently, there’s no better all-rounder than him. So, I am looking forward to seeing Ravindra Jadeja performing in the IPL,” Harbhajan said on the Star Sports Network.
Having said that, Harbhajan is aware that against GT, CSK cannot afford to take things lightly. Last year, when not many expected them to, GT stormed their way to an IPL title in their debut season, which rocketed Hardik Pandya’s stocks as captain. Harbhajan credited GT’s success last year to their maverick leader Hardik and underlined some of the things they did better as compared to the other nine franchises.”One thing which they’ve done better than the rest is that they’ve been very flexible. They’ve never been rigid about who bats where. We saw Hardik Pandya coming up in the batting order and scoring those runs and he wasn’t just slogging the ball, he played like a proper batter for Gujarat Titans last season. He was very smart last season. Jonty Rhodes once said ‘a happy team is a winning team’ and that’s the formula this team applied. From what I gathered from Ashish Nehra and the entire team management, they were a very-very happy team,” mentioned Harbhajan.