The current selection panel of BCCI, headed by Sandeep Patil has been hailed for taking bold decisions. The '5 wise men' have backed youngsters to serve Indian cricket. But on a Wednesday afternoon (May 20), they stunned all by going back on their policies.
Harbhajan, 34, had not played Test cricket for more than 2 years now. His last appearance in India whites was in March 2013 at home against Australia. Forgotten all this while, now he gets a call-up.
It is shocking what the Sandeep Patil-led committee did today because Harbhajan did not set the field alight with his bowling in the Ranji Trophy (played only 3 matches and took 6 wickets) nor has he done anything extraordinary in the ongoing Indian Premier League 2015.
Even if he is picking wickets for Mumbai Indians in IPL at the moment, that should not be the criteria to back in the Test team.
Agreed, he has so far taken 16 wickets in 14 matches for Mumbai Indians including MS Dhoni's for a golden duck last night (May 19) at Wankhede Stadium. But these numbers might help him get back to limited overs format but for Tests, it is baffling.
The defence given by Patil for including Harbhajan is that Bangladesh have many left-handers. The logic is fine. But when you already have R Ashwin in the line-up why need a second offspinner for just 1 Test in the series. Also is the Indian bowling attack so weak that they can't get 20 Bangladesh wickets.
Harbhajan has played 101 Tests, taking 413 wickets. In the last 2 years, he was never in the scheme of things, at home or abroad, with Ashwin in the squad as the number one spinner.
But now all of a sudden, BCCI has picked Harbhajan for Test duty. Is this decision the result of a new team in the Indian cricket board?
Or, has the BCCI given one last chance for Harbhajan to say goodbye to international cricket? If that is the case then why have they ignored Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan.
They too deserve comebacks to bow out playing one last time for India.
For now, Harbhajan should consider himself very very lucky.