Harbhajan axed for Australia

November 26, 2011

by Venky84

Harbhajan Singh has been left out of India’s 17 man squad for their upcoming Test series to Australia.

India have selected just two spinners within their squad, giving the opportunity to Pragyan Ojha and R Ashwin. Both men have been involved in the current Test series with the West Indies in India, and both have found success against the men from the Caribbean.

The other notable inclusion was Praveen Kumar returning to the squad after missing the three Test match series with the West Indies because of injury. The squad comprises of eight batsmen, two wicket keepers, five fast bowlers, and two spinners.

The experienced Zaheer Khan is among the 17 named, but the Indian management team will keep a close eye on his fitness, and his inclusion on the tour will be subject to this.

Despite having taken 406 wickets in 98 Test matches, Harbhajan has been left out of this squad after several poor performances in recent times. In his two Test matches in England, Harbhajan could only manage two wickets. On return from England, the off-spinner looked for some form in the Indian domestic competition, the Ranji Trophy. However, in three matches here he only recorded two wickets at an average of 102 for Punjab.

Both Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina have also missed out on selection for the tour. Duncan Fletcher will have noted that both batsmen have struggled with the short ball in their Test career, and on hard bouncy Australian wickets it may prove wise to leave these two men at home.

Squad in full: MS Dhoni (capt &wk), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Virat Kohli, R Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Rohit Sharma, Pragyan Ojha, Praveen Kumar, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Zaheer Khan (subject to fitness).

Chris Murtagh 26/11/2011

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