What’s the story?
Former Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq has thrown all his weight behind out-of-favour Indian off-break bowler Harbhajan Singh and has blasted the Indian team selectors for not including the veteran in the Indian Champions Trophy squad.
Mushtaq who has always been a vocal supporter of Harbhajan even in the past took to social media site Twitter to voice his opinion and has said the Indian offie is a proven match-winner who always performs when the situation demands and it is a shame that he is not in the Indian side for the Champions Trophy.
Harbhajan had a decent IPL and he has been in good form especially in the limited overs format and there have been people who have rendered support to Harbhajan Singh.
This particular tweet from Mushtaq does not come as a surprise as both the off-spinners share a healthy relationship and Saqlain who has worked in England with the England team finds merit in the inclusion of Harbhajan.
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Harbhajan himself has not sounded too chuffed off late with the selection process and has questioned the modus operandi of the selectors while picking up players.
He had questioned the selectors for continuing to include MS Dhoni while ignoring Gautam Gambhir and himself despite churning out performances.
However, he clarified his comments later and slammed the media for twisting his statements out of context.
“MSD is a dear friend &a great player, I never doubted his selection so please don't quote me on things which I never said against him just to run ur sites n create 'sensatiinonal stories' don't misquote & run out of context to harm someone elses image..", Harbhajan tweeted.
Although the Indian selectors would not be too flustered with the statements made by Saqlain, there is no doubt they would keep their eyes on Harbhajan if there are any injury concerns during the Champions Trophy.
Also, the Indian team is slated to travel to the West Indies immediately after the Champions Trophy and Harbhajan could well find himself on that particular team as the selectors could go for a different team.
There is no denying the fact that Harbhajan is a proven match-winner but the selectors can only name a side depending on the recent performances and in Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, India have two gun spinners in their ranks.
Having said this, Harbhajan and Gambhir deserve another crack at the International level and it would be interesting to see when and how they are drafted back into the team.