Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Chennai Super Kings CEO Kasi Viswanathan has revealed that captain MS Dhoni was intent on securing the services of veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh during the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction.
Harbhajan was not retained by the Mumbai Indians prior to the auction and subsequently ended up being bought by the Super Kings for his base price of INR 2 crores.
The decision to purchase Harbhajan, who has not played for India since March 2016, raised a few eyebrows, but the 37-year-old is determined to prove his doubters wrong.
“Youth does not necessarily translate into matchwinning performances. There is no substitute for experience — we are players who have walked the difficult road and know how to deal with it,” Harbhajan told The Times of India.
Meanwhile, the franchise also defended their decision to pick up South Africa spinner Imran Tahir for his base price of INR 1 crore.
Like Harbhajan, Tahir is also a veteran of the game. But, despite being 38, one of the franchise’s managers insisted that Tahir is still a world-class player.
In last year’s IPL, Tahir represented the Rising Pune Supergiants and claimed 18 wickets in 12 matches at an average of 20.50.
“Look at his quality, don’t see his age,” the manager said. “This is the era when athletes go that extra mile to keep themselves fit even when they are closing 40. The prime example of that is Roger Federer, who wins so much at 37.”
The Super Kings’ most expensive buys at the auction was India all-rounder Kedar Jadhav, who they spent INR 7.8 crores on.
Even though many people were left scratching their heads about why the Super Kings made such a sizable investment in the 32-year-old, Viswanathan was delighted to have him on board.
“Kedar’s slow bowling and batting abilities make him a great buy,” he said. “We had decided before going into the auctions that we are going to go all out for these guys. We are very happy with the team we have got.”