Harbhajan Singh returned to the Indian Test team (for the one-off Test vs Bangladesh, June 10-14) after two years and chairman of selectors Sandeep Patil interacted with the media for the first time since his appointment in October 2012 — these were the two big changes in Indian cricket yesterday.
Sandeep Patil and Yuvraj Singh
Patil & Co retained the same Test squad that toured Australia, barring out-of-form left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja and middle-order batsman Suresh Raina.
In the ODI squad, except Mohammad Shami, the selectors have retained the same team that played in the World Cup. Shami is expected to get fit in four weeks.
Patil said Harbhajan was always on the selection committee’s radar. “Harbhajan was discussed in earlier meetings too. The selection committee picked him here considering the number of left-handers in the Bangladesh team.
We felt that a second off-spinner was needed. We also had a long discussion with captain Virat Kohli on this issue and then the decision was taken,” said Patil, who made it clear that only form and fitness matter during selection.
“The selection committee represents each and every cricketer of India and we don’t have emotional attachments. We look for the performances and fitness and whether a particular player, bowler or batsman, fits in the combination,” he said.
On a query regarding other veteran players, who are on the sidelines, Patil said: “There was no discussion on Yuvraj Singh. It will be difficult to say who all were discussed. Those who the selection committee and captain felt needed to be discussed were discussed.”
Test: V Kohli (capt), M Vijay, S Dhawan, KL Rahul, C Pujara, A Rahane, R Sharma, W Saha, R Ashwin, Harbhajan, Karn Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, U Yadav, V Aaron, Ishant Sharma
ODI: MS Dhoni (capt), R Sharma, A Rahane, S Dhawan, V Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, R Ashwin, R Jadeja, Axar Patel, B Kumar, U Yadav, Mohit Sharma, S Binny, Dhawal Kulkarni