Former India wicketkeeper Deep Dasgupta feels all-rounder Jalaj Saxena could be a potential Harbhajan Singh at Chennai Super Kings for IPL 2020. Harbhajan decided to pull out of the tournament on Friday citing person reasons.
Jalaj Saxena is a 33-year-old right-hand batsman and off-spin bowler who has played 123 first-class matches in which he has managed 6334 runs at 35.98 with 14 hundreds and 31 fifties.
He has also picked 347 FC wickets at 27.17 with 21 five-wicket hauls. He has also played 54 T20s till date, scoring 633 runs and picked 49 wickets.
Saxena was bought by Delhi Capitals in the 2019 auction at his base price of Rs 20 lakh but was released ahead of this season. He has also played for teams like Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL.
“I think Jalaj Saxena deserves a place, he’s a good enough all-rounder. I think they might look at him, he’s a very good option for Bhajji’s replacement,” Deep Dasgupta told ESPNCricinfo.
“He’s someone who has got a lot of experience not just in red ball cricket but also in white ball cricket he’s been around for a while.”
Dasgupta said Chennai Super Kings will miss the experience of Harbhajan this season.
“Yes, he wasn‘t a regularity, didn’t play all the games last season but having said that when you’ve got someone as experienced as Harbhajan and we’re talking about all those 50 plus matches being played on only 3 venues.
“In the 2nd half of the tournament, those pitches will get tired, there will ware and tare so it will definitely help the spinners. From the experience part, yes (they will miss him), and of course he was only off-spinner. He didn’t play much after last season but with someone of that experience, you have to back them and that’s what CSK has done. So they will miss him, maybe not too much but a bit for sure,” Dasgupta said.
Harbhajan is the second CSK player who will miss the IPL this season after vice-captain Suresh Raina, who returned home from Dubai last week due to personal reasons.
Raina’s news came just after 13 members of the franchise, including fast bowler Deepak Chahar and batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad, tested positive for coronavirus.