MUMBAI: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik has said picking spinner Harbhajan Singh was not easy and he also added that the veteran looks like a ‘different man’ now.
The Turbanator will turn 41 this July but he still has the passion to perform and succeed at the highest level. The IPL 2021 is slated to kickoff from April 9 and KKR will play their first match on April 11 against SunRisers Hyderabad in Chennai.
“Picking him I think wasn’t easy, considering that he has been around for so long. But the amount of interest and intensity he has shown in the last one week is just fabulous. He has been coming to practice sessions early, much ahead of all other players! And he has been doing it consistently! I think he is a different man now from whatever little I have seen of him this week,” the official website of KKR quoted Karthik as saying.
“Even in a practice game that starts at 7 PM, he had come at 4 O’clock! He was batting before that, he bowled to Shakib Al Hasan and Eoin Morgan, and then did his stretching again before getting into the practice game. He is bowling in the match and also fielding all 20 overs. That’s about as much as you can ask for from a man of his stature! He has achieved everything. Yet to show this kind of interest at this stage of his career speaks volumes of him as a character. I am sure he will do a great job for KKR,” he added.
Harbhajan was bought in the 2021 auction for Rs 2 crore by KKR. He has earlier played for Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians in the past.
Earlier, KKR skipper Eoin Morgan had said that the addition of Harbhajan will further bolster the spin bowling lineup of the franchise.
“I think adding Harbhajan to our squad has strengthened our spin department. If you look at our spin department, on paper it is one of the best in the tournament and that is factual. We have to play in Chennai and it can turn there, it can raise the eyebrows of our spinners there. If we do well in the tournament, our spinners would have bowled well,” Morgan had said during a virtual press conference.