Former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh believes left-arm spin all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja could be pushed to a higher position in the batting order for the Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2023.
Jadeja had a forgettable time in IPL 2022, scoring only 116 runs in 10 innings at an average of 19.33 and picked five wickets at an economy rate of 7.52. Also, he was the captain of CSK at the start of the competition last year.
But MS Dhoni took back leadership duties mid-way and shortly, Jadeja was ruled out for the rest of the tournament due to a rib injury. Now, ahead of IPL 2023, Jadeja enters the competition on the back of bagging Player of the Series award in India's 2-1 Test series win over Australia, as well as playing a pivotal role in the team's ODI win in Mumbai.
"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 was quoted as saying by Star Sports, the official TV broadcasters of IPL 2023.
Ahead of CSK playing the IPL 2023 opening game against defending champions Gujarat Titans on Friday, former Australia cricketer Matthew Hayden has backed England Test captain Ben Stokes to be the X-factor for the franchise in IPL 2023.
The four-time champions bought Stokes for a staggering INR 16.25 crores during the player auction. "The X-factor for CSK this season is their new signing -- Ben Stokes who has never realised his potential in the IPL.
And he's one of those players and we see him play all over the world. He's got that match-winning ability. Now under a CSK regime where it's all about cricket. I think that he's got the big chance to be the X-factor this season," said Hayden, who has represented CSK in the past.
Former India opener Murali Vijay, also an ex-CSK player, thinks the side's return to playing at Chepauk, along with MS Dhoni at helm and having a plethora of all-rounders, should help them advance to the playoffs, which they missed last year.
"The first factor for CSK's success will be MS Dhoni and captaincy. I think it will be crucial for CSK this season. Secondly, they are going to play matches at Chepauk which will be very crucial for us, because that's the way this team is built up and hopefully we can utilise that advantage.
The third factor should be there are a lot of all-rounders on the side this time. Hopefully, these three factors will help them qualify for the playoffs," said Vijay.