It has been almost a year since Harbhajan Singh was dropped from the national side and since then he has been busy on the domestic circuit. He has been making gradual progress which earned him a place into the side for the T20 World Cup to be played in Sri Lanka later this month. Well many speculate it is largely due to his experience rather than performance that earned him a recall.
Harbhajan’s inclusion was appreciated by lot of people and feel that it is a good move and his presence will make a lot of difference in the side. Former captain Anil Kumble on Sunday pitched in for the inclusion of Harbhajan Singh in the Indian squad for the home series against Australia and England later this year, saying that veteran off-spinner's experience would be crucial for the fortunes of the country.
But the question that arises is that will he be able to feature in main XI for India. The way things are shaping up right now, R Ashwin will any day get more preference than Harbhajan in the side if Mahendra Singh Dhoni decides for only one specialist spinner for the side.
Harbhajan no doubt has over 600 international wickets, but then he was out of the game for nearly a year. On the other hand Ashwin has been bowling well and even in the recent tour to Sri Lanka he ended with 7wickets from five games. He further consolidated his position in the side after his spectacular performance in on-going Test series against New Zealand.
Well T20 is a different ball game, but his performance against New Zealand in the Test series is just a testimony to the fact that how dangerous Ashwin can get in these conditions. So it should get little difficult for Bhajji to make a place in the team if Team India decide to go in with three specialist seamers.
India is scheduled to play two T20’s against New Zealand and Harbhajan might be tried and he will have to impress with his performance. And even if India decide to go in with two spinners, Bhajji will receive stiff competition from Piyush Chawla who has been named in the side due to his good run in the Indian Premier League.
Roads do not look that smooth for Harbhajan and even if he gets a chance to play he will be under immense pressure to perform from word go, because his performance will be constantly scrutinised.
The Turbanator has been always been a fighter in his career and he has got one more chance to fight his way back into the team. Harbhajan will take the T20 as a chance to get back into the reckoning for the Test side and become India’s number 1 spinner once again. Road will not be easy and whether gets a chance to prove himself will be an interesting to wait and watch for.
By Samikshan Dutta Choudhury
Indian Sports News Network