IPL 2018: Harbhajan Singh Not Given A Single Over By MS Dhoni, Tweeple Declare Him Specialist Batsman

IPL 2018, SRH vs CSK, Qualifier 1: Not giving Harbhajan Singh even one over raises questions at MS Dhoni's strategy against Sunrisers Hyderabad

Harbhajan Singh has not got as many chances to bowl for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) like he got for Mumbai Indians (MI) while playing for them in the past decade. Harbhajan has bowled just 31.5 overs in the 13 matches he has played in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018. But Harbhajan not bowling a single over in a match where 20 overs were bowled is a first in hundreds of T20 matches he has played in his career.

It was quite clear after the powerplay overs that the Hyderabad pitch is helping the fast bowlers. In the powerplay overs, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) had already lost 3 wickets. Lungi Ngidi, Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja bowled reasonably well whereas Shardul Thakur struggled a bit after taking the priced wicket of SRH skipper Kane Williamson.

If not bowl the quota of 4 overs, then Harbhajan would have worked as a sixth bowler as Thakur was taking a beating. He has been inefficient towards the end of the innings. Carlos Brathwaite has a better strike rate against fast bowlers than spinners. He could have blocked the flow of boundaries against Brathwaite.

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If the plan was to give Harbhajan just one or two overs, CSK could have utilised Shane Watson. They could have played an extra batsman in place of Harbhajan. CSK definitely struggled with the bat as they lost 4 wickets in less than 8 overs while chasing a target of 140 runs.

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The off-spinner was promoted up the order in the match against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). The 37-year-old has taken 7 wickets from 13 matches he has played including the one in which he did not get to bowl at all.