Mumbai Indians (MI) mentor Anil Kumble on Friday admitted that the franchise will miss the experience of veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh in IPL 2018.
In the absence of Harbhajan, who will be seen playing for Chennai Super Kings (CSK), all-rounder Krunal Pandya will have to lead the spin department for the defending champions this season, says Kumble.
As per reports Press Trust of India, Kumble told reporters during the Star Sports Select: The Dugout' program, “Mumbai Indians will certainly miss the experience of Harbhajan Singh as spinner. Krunal Pandya is a really good all-rounder, but he will have to lead the spinners now.”
He further explained, “They have Rahul (Chahar) as a leg-spinner, but again an unknown youngster. The experience of someone like Bhajji (Harbhajan) during those four overs and also what he brings with the bat as well ... But having said that they have the other bases covered.”
Meanwhile, former Indian skipper believes that the Bangladesh pacer Muztifizur Rahim and Indian seamer Jasprit Bumrah will play a crucial role in the death overs for MI. He added, “The Mumbai Indians have got Mustifizur Rahim, so that he can play that role of bowling in the death overs. They have (Jasprit) Bumrah, who has grown leaps and bounds; he is the go-to bowler for the team.”
He also reckons that the U-19 players would be under sharp focus during the IPL, which is a great platform for the youngsters to get national recognition and opportunity to play for the senior side.
Citing the example of Hardik Pandya and Bumrah, who has emerged as match-winners for India, former India coach said, “The U19 boys would certainly be in focus. Prithvi Shaw, the Nagarkotis (referring to Kamlesh Nagarkoti), all of them would be certainly in focus. It will be a big opportunity for these youngsters to showcase their talent.
Hardik Pandya, the Bumrahs, all have come through the IPL, it is an opportunity for everyone. We know Shreyas Iyer, no matter how many domestic performances he had, but as soon as had a good IPL performance, then suddenly people start noticing it.”
Kumble signed off by saying, “So everyone in domestic cricket understands that IPL is a great platform for them to showcase the talent and possibly one step closer to making it to the Indian team. But the Under 19 boys who did well in the World Cup, would be under sharp focus.”