New Delhi, Jan 15: Following India's dismal show in the Tests and ODIs against England, looks like selectors are keen on bringing in the most experienced off-spinner Harbhajan Singh back into the Test squad for the forthcoming series against Australia in Feb-March 2013.
According to sources, the officials have informed the turbanator about his chances and are expecting him to be highly successful in the remaining Ranji matches to get a Test recall.
Having been highly successful against Australia at home, Harbhajan Singh has claimed 81 wickets off 12 matches with the best being 8/84 in an innings and 15/217 in a match.
The turbanator has recorded 3 ten-wicket-hauls against Australia at home and has taken wickets at an average of 24.48 which makes him a strong contender for the spinner's slot for Australia Tests.
The veteran spinner would have an edge over Ashwin, if he gets some wickets in the Ranji semi-final against Saurashtra.
"It's been communicated to Harbhajan that he gets among the wickets in the remaining Ranji matches, he would be one a serious contenders for one of the spinner's slot," a source close to the development told TOI.
Harbhajan Singh played his last Test against England at Mumbai, which was also his 99th Test appearance and has been stranded on 99 after he was dropped from the third and final Test following his dismal show in the second Test.
Moreover, Ashwin's form would also work in Harbhajan's favour as the talented spinner from Tamil Nadu has been struggling to strike form. With 63 wickets off 12 Tests at an average of 32.41, Ashwin has not been effective with the ball. Especially in the series against England, as he was considered more as a batsman than a bowler since he claimed only 14 wickets off 4 matches at an average of 52.64 with the best being 5/214 in a match.
Since Ashwin has not been effective with the ball over the last couple of months, selectors might consider the veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh for the Test series against Australia.
If Harbhajan impresses selectors in the Ranji semi-final against Saurashtra, the veteran offie will be playing his 100th Test soon.