Normally, the BCCI does not allow its spokesmen to take questions from the media but yesterday National chief selector Sandeep Patil was allowed by the BCCI to field questions from the media. Patil explained in detail the decisions that have been taken by the selection committee in choosing the Indian team for the upcoming tour of Bangladesh.
Harbhajan Singh, who has got 413 wickets from 101 Tests under his belt, has earned his place to the Test side despite last having played for India in the year 2013.
Patil said, “Harbhajan has been picked considering the number of left-handers in the Bangladesh team because we felt that a second off-spinner was needed. We also had a long discussion with captain Virat Kohli before the decision was taken. It was not that we only discussed Harbhajan but we also spoke about other young off-spinners in our country. Ravindra Jadeja was discussed too. But ultimately we felt that this was the right choice for this particular tour.”
On the possibilities whether the experienced off-spinner had hopes of making an international comeback in ODI team as well, Patil replied, “We recently returned from the World Cup where the Indian team performed quite well. So it is not the right time to chop and change.”
However, Patil elaborated that contrary to apprehensions running in the social media about considering few other veterans including Yuvraj, they were not discussed.
Patil said, “There was no discussion on Yuvraj Singh. When you talk of selection, you talk of combination. The 15 players who are selected, we need to look at what slot they will play and also the players already in the team.”
Also, there had earlier been reported that many senior Indian players would sit out of the Bangladesh tour, but eventually a full-strength side has been chosen – with just one exception- absentee being Mohammed Shami.
Patil said, “No players approached either the BCCI or me asking for rest. Only Mohammed Shami was not considered because he is not fit. Everybody reported except Shami, who is recovering, he will be available after 4 weeks.”
India is scheduled to play one Test match in Bangladesh starting from 10 June, and play a ODI series starting from 18 June.