In recognition of his dependability on the local circuit, Kolkata Knight Riders recently acquired Narayan Jagadeesan during the IPL 2023 mini-auction in Kochi. He has had an excellent career with the bat in all formats. Both KKR and Chennai Super Kings made bids on Jagadeesan at the auction, but KKR ultimately won him for INR 90 lakh.
In this year’s auction, CSK did not make a lot of an effort to support Jagadeesan. After the offer amount reached a certain level, CSK withdrew from the auction and released the wicketkeeper who had been a member of their team from 2018 to 2022. Despite receiving little playing time, the 27-year-old developed a lasting bond with CSK assistant coach Michael Hussey.
Former Australian great Mike Hussey, who still keeps in touch with Jagadeesan, proved to be a sincere supporter. Prior to the match against Delhi, Jagadeesan, who is presently playing for Tamil Nadu in the Ranji Trophy, spoke to the media and discussed his relationship with Hussey.
“When I was in the CSK dugout, I was having a lot of conversations with Mike Hussey and he is someone I have idolised for a very long time. Working with him… you know he had a lot of conversations with me. Even when I am not part of the IPL and domestic season is on, he is always in touch with me. He talks to me well,” Jagadeesan was quoted by News18.
Only seven games were played by Jagadeesan throughout his four seasons at CSK, yet he still managed to score 73 runs. Given his recent exploits in the white-ball format, he would be aiming to play more games after joining a new franchise. For four years, the right-hander was without playing time, but his off-the-field contacts with Hussey are still cherished.
“The bond with Mike Hussey is exceptionally good. We have always been on the same page and I am someone who would blindly trust Mike Hussey because I know for a fact that he is a well-wisher for me and he wants me to do well. No matter if I was playing in the CSK team or not, he always had time to come and speak with me. Give me a lot of tips,” Jagadeesan added.
Jagadeesan was the star performer of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, scoring runs in abundance and breaking multiple records. He recorded five centuries and 830 runs altogether in eight matches. The flawless constancy was made even more endearing by “Mr. Cricket” Hussey’s praise. The 27-year-old remembers their discussions with a twinkle in his eye and said that he is still a “major motivating force” in his life.
“It’s not about talking very technical terms, it’s just telling you ‘well done mate’. If that comes from stature of Mike Hussey, that’s definitely a big note for me. I get goosebumps when I talk about that. I mean he is too big a person and too big a cricketer. When he tells me I have done something good, when he tells me ‘you have done well’, ‘your scores have been pretty good’, it’s definitely a big motivating factor. When he sees me in person, looks at my batting then he gives me technical advice as well,” he added.