Harbhajan returns to India's Test squad
Offspinner Harbhajan Singh has been recalled to the India squad for the solitary Test in Bangladesh in June. Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja has been dropped from the squad that toured Australia in 2014-15.
India's selectors named full-strength squads for the Test and the ODI series, with no first-choice players requesting rest despite having played the World Cup and the IPL back to back. Fast bowler Mohammad Shami was left out of the tour because of an injury he sustained at the World Cup, and Dhawal Kulkarni was his replacement in the ODI team.
Sandeep Patil, India's chairman of selectors, said consideration had been given to the number of left-handers in the Bangladesh line-up before the decision to pick a second offspinner was made. Harbhajan played only three matches in last season's Ranji Trophy, where he picked up six wickets with a best of 3 for 51, but has been in impressive form for Mumbai Indians this IPL season, picking up 16 wickets in 14 matches.
Test squad: Virat Kohli (capt), M Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, R Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh, Karn Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Ishant Sharma
ODI squad: MS Dhoni (capt), Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohit Sharma, Stuart Binny, Dhawal Kulkarni
Harbhajan returns to Test squad; Kohli to lead
Harbhajan Singh has been included in the 14-man squad for India's solitary Test against Bangladesh after the All-India Senior Selection Committee met in Mumbai and chartered out a full-strength squad forIndia's first assignment since their run to the semi-finals of World Cup 2015.
The 34-year old last represented India during the home Test series against Australia in 2013. Harbhajan joins fellow off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and Karn Sharma as the specialist spinners in the squad. BCCI chief selector Sandeep Patil clarified that the selection was in no-way intended as a farewell gesture for the veteran of 101 Tests.
"We've kept in mind Bangladesh' six left-handers - and discussed a few off-spinners - not just Harbhajan," Patil said. "We felt a second off-spinner was needed - and selectors discussed it with captain Virat Kohli, after which Harbhajan was picked. We don't have emotional attachments (with players). We've strictly looked at performances and combinations."
Suresh Raina, following his twin-ducks in the New Year's Test in Sydney, was a notable absentee in the Test team. Also missing from the Test side were Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami. Shami, who injured his knee during the World Cup, missed the ongoing IPL and was not available for selection.
Patil also rubbished reports of Virat Kohli and senior members of the squad requesting that they be allowed to skip the series in lieu of the hectic cricketing cycle that has seensome players play non-stop since the beginning of the Australian tour late last year. "No player had requested to be rested for the Bangladesh tour," Patil clarified. "We know our team has been playing continuous cricket, but we've given rest to some players in the past. For this tour, we've gone full strength."
The team for the three-match ODI series will be lead by regular skipper MS Dhoni and barring Shami, who is replaced by Dhawal Kulkarni, features the same set of players who played the World Cup.
The Indian cricket team will travel to Dhaka on June 7. Fatullah's Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium will host the one-off Test from June 10 while the three ODIs will be played on June 18, 21 and 24 in Mirpur.
Jun 10 Wed - Jun 14 Sun Bangladesh vs India, 1st Test 9:30 AMKhan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium Fatullah
Jun 18 - Thu Bangladesh vs India, 1st ODI 1:30 PM Shere Bangla National Stadium Dhaka
Jun 21 - Sun Bangladesh vs India, 2nd ODI 1:30 PM Shere Bangla National Stadium Dhaka
Jun 24 - Wed Bangladesh vs India, 3rd ODI 1:30 PM Shere Bangla National Stadium Dhaka
Test Squad: Virat Kohli(c), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan , KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, R Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh, Karn Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Ishant Sharma.
ODI Squad: MS Dhoni(C), Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohit Sharma, Stuart Binny, Dhawal Kulkarni