'I was surprised to see Harbhajan Singh playing': Parthiv Patel weighs in on veteran off-spinner's KKR debut
- IPL 2021: One person who found Harbhajan Singh's KKR debut surprising was his former India teammate Parthiv Patel.
Moments before the toss of the Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Kolkata Knight Riders match took place, Harbhajan Singh was seen receiving his KKR cap, indicating the veteran off-spinner's debut for the two-time IPL champions. Having represented the two most successful IPL franchises in the past in Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, KKR is the third IPL team the 40-year-old has represented.
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While Harbhajan's inclusion was received with a lot of positivity, one person who found the move surprising was former India wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel. The former captain Gujarat captain, who had announced his retirement from all forms of cricket not too long ago, felt Harbhajan might have had to wait for his turn given there aren't too many left-handers in the Sunrisers camp, the type of batsmen against whom the off-spinner has a healthy record.
Harbhajan's last competitive match before today was back in the final of the 2019 IPL, which CSK lost to MI by one run. This means that this is the first time in almost 700 days – 699 to be precise – that the World Cup winning spinner is playing a competitive game.
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"I was surprised to see Harbhajan Singh playing, especially against Sunrisers Hyderabad. They don't have any left-handers in between so I was surprised by Harbhajan's inclusion," Parthiv said after the toss. "But yeah, I think had KKR won the toss, they would have batted first because even in the last game, the wicket was better than this one but still 160 was difficult to chase. I feel it’s a good toss to lose for KKR."
Sunrisers captain David Warner won the toss and opted to bowl on a dry-looking surface which promises to slow down as the match progresses further. Barring Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi make for the four overseas players in the SRH camp, whereas KKR's four foreign picks are captain Eoin Morgan, Shakib Al Hasan, Andre Russell and Pat Cummins.