New Delhi, Nov 25: The selectors committee led by K Srikkanth will face a tough time dealing with selection of a 16-member team to tour down under in December. The committee will have to decide whether to pick Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh. Despite having a good record against Australia, Bhajji is likely to be ignored by the selectors.
From the current team playing against the Windies at home, 14 players are sure to retain their places in the squad. R Ashwin and Pragyan will surely make the cut having performed well in the ongoing Test. Selectors face a dilemma whether to pick experienced Harbhajan who has 98 Tests and over 400 wickets under his belt, but the selectors bank on performance.
Call it luck or form, Harbhajan has found none since the World Cup, currently playing in the Ranji Trophy, Bhajji went wicketless against UP, managed 1-44 against Orissa and has taken a single wicket in the ongoing match against Saurashtra.
Selectors are also keeping an eye on Punjab leg-spinner Rahul Sharma who has the ability to extract bounce on any wicket will come handy on Australian pitches. Another contender leggie Piyush Chawla is on the cards has taken 10 wickets in three Ranji matches.
Given the performances of R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha in the ongoing Tests, and so many spinners on the list, it makes little sense if another offie is selected.
No doubt selectors may find it hard to ignore Harbhajan's stats against Australia, Harbhajan is the first player to take 15 wickets in a Test match against the Aussies and 32 wickets in a Test series against Australia.
India has a poor record in Australia having drawn two series and yet to register a win in Australia. With an inexperienced spin attack, Harbhjan's inclusion will surely boost the spin attack considering his record against the Aussies.
Selectors have to take a call between experience and performance as BCCI's selection committee will meet during the Day 4 of the Mumbai Test against West Indies on November 25th for the upcoming one-day series against Windies and for the tour of Australia the following day.