New Delhi, Dec 10: Former India cricketer turned commentator Sunil Gavaskar on Sunday said that Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh were selectors' 'soft targets' after their omission from the squad for the fourth Test at Nagpur, starting Dec 13, 2012.
The little master also added that Zaheer Khan's omission was expected following his dismal show in the last couple of months and in the ongoing Test series against England.
Zaheer Khan has managed only 4 wickets off 3 Tests in the series with the best being 2/84 in an innings, at an average of 53.25 suggesting that the pace spearhead was totally off-colour.
"If you ask me, Zaheer's exclusion was expected but I believe that Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh has been made scapegoats," Gavaskar said.
Gavaskar defended Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh after the duo faced the axe for the fourth Test at Nagpur following their dismal show in the last two Tests.
"If you look at Harbhajan's performance in Mumbai, he got to bowl some 20-odd overs (21) and also got two wickets. If India lost in Mumbai, it was a collective failure. Yuvraj also got into 30's. If you want to drop them then why not some of the others who have also not performed. Both Yuvraj and Harbhajan are soft targets," Gavaskar said.
Talking about Parvinder Awana's inclusion Gavaskar said, "I don't know his domestic performance but if he has done well in domestic cricket, I have no issues. But IPL can't be a yardstick for selection in national team. India cap should be earned the hard way."
Gavaskar also backed Dhoni after the team's loss to England, as he said the skipper shouldn't be blamed alone, as it was a collective failure.
"A captain is as good as his team. I don't think we have any alternative of Dhoni at the moment. If you want to change the captain for the heck of it, then it's different," Gavaskar concluded.