A wrong 置n to Harbhajan


When Harbhajan Singh made his return against England in the World T20, it was more than a year since he'd played for the national side. During this enforced break, Harbhajan, like many before him, hit the County circuit to rediscover form and freshness. The stint was largely successful, with the spinner picking up 23 wickets in eight matches (across formats). Bowling lengthy spells, Harbhajan was, by all accounts, bowling slower through the air and with plenty of loop.

But making his comeback in a format where a spinner is forced to hit a flat trajectory and resort to frequent variations, may not have been ideal -- the joy of his four for 12 against England lasted only until the next match against Australia, where he was plastered for 20 runs in two wicketless overs.

And in a few days' time, Harbhajan will be turning up for the Mumbai Indians in the Champions League T20 in South Africa.

With England's tour of India around the corner, BCCI should have played a proactive role and pushed Harbhajan to play the ongoing Duleep Trophy. Anchoring the North Zone attack on the wickets in Chennai and Hyderabad, working on his flight, loop and length would have been the perfect preparation. When India toured England a year and a half back, the hosts were all prepared for the then incumbent No. 1 ranked team, with lively tracks and a pack of fast bowlers ready to take advantage.

With England's well-documented struggles against spin, having a trio (Ravichandran Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha along with Harbhajan) of ready, in-form spinners is an imperative. Especially so with India's top fast bowlers either just coming back from injury (Ishant Sharma), inexperienced (Umesh Yadav) or off their game (Zaheer Khan).

Most of the senior India players had skipped the tour to the West Indies and had been caught cold during the whitewash in England last year. A similar lack of planning ahead of a big tour by the powers that be, might come back to haunt India.

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