Former India and Chennai Super Kings cricketer Harbhajan Singh feels that star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja will be the X factor for the four-time champions in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League. Jadeja has made a successful return to top-flight cricket after spending several months away due to a knee surgery, playing a vital role in India’s 2-1 win in the four-Test series against Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2022-23. The veteran all-rounder will once again be playing a key role for CSK after a rocky season last year, when he was named the captain with the regular leader for many years, MS Dhoni, stepping down.
But the captaincy stint didn’t go well for Jadeja, who has played for Chennai since 2012. The team lost six out of the first eight matches and Jadeja stepped down from the post, with Dhoni taking over the leadership role once again, which he will continue with in the 2023 IPL.
The IPL 2023 starts on March 31 with Chennai Super Kings slated to face the defending champions Gujarat Titans in the opening match.
Harbhajan told Star Sports, “The one person who everyone should keep an eye on is Ravindra Jadeja, especially how he bats for CSK. He may be promoted up the order plus he has his four overs. If you look at it from a world cricket perspective, I don’t think there’s a better all-rounder than him.” “I’m looking forward to seeing Ravindra Jadeja in the IPL. The X factor for me will be Ravindra Jadeja because he has been very successful in these conditions as a bowler and a batsman, he’s been playing there for so many years. So for me, he is definitely going to be the X factor for the side.” The ex-India spinner, also a former player for CSK, said Dhoni remains the heart of the team.
“The biggest strength of this team is MS Dhoni. He is the heart of the team. He knows the team very well and he is probably the best person to get the most out of each player in the team.” According to the spin great, the likes of Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali and Devon Conway and Maheesh Theekshana will play a vital role in their IPL 2023 season.
“Firstly I would select Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali ofcourse, Conway will definitely be in the side and Theekshana, before Pathirana because Theekshana will be more effective in Chennai. But if the match happens in a place like Mumbai, against Mumbai Indians, then I will select Pathirana because he bowls a lot like Malinga and spin doesn’t play a big factor over there.
“If I have to select the four overseas players it would be Conway, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali and Theekshana,” he expressed.