Karachi, Feb 3: Former Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq has backed out-of-favour Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and said, "Too much focus on Twenty20" is threatening Harbhajan's international cricket career and he needs support instead of being ignored.
Harbhajan, who was injured in the tour of England, was dropped for the series against West Indies and tour Down Under.
Saqlain, an off-spinner himself, said any player can be out of form a for a period of time but his experience and overall performance should be considered before taking any decision.
Saqlain said the Indian team lost miserably in England, the entire team should be blamed but all fingers were pointed out towards Harbhajan which affected his morale.
"I think before that series, Harbhajan was having a bit of bad form, but they kept blaming him, that was wrong I think. This added more pressure on Harbhajan," Saqlain said.
"The critics were not talking about the fast bowlers or the batsmen. The batsmen were not performing well, but they were blaming Harbhajan Singh and put him under pressure. After that, they dropped him," he pointed out.
Saqlain said Harbhajan has been in the squad for over a decade and deserves another chance.
"I think if you see the whole scenario of the last series and before that, I think the Indian cricket officials were not treating Harbhajan properly, they didn't treat him well," he said.
"I think they should trust in him and he's done a lot for that country. Not just in one game, but he's played for years and years in all forms of cricket, T20, ODI, Test cricket and has been phenomenal.
"I think they should call him again and should back him. I think he has a lot of cricket left in him and they should give him support. He'll perform well and bring results for the country, they should just back him and bring him back into the squad," he added.