Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has been included in Indian team for the one-off Test match against Bangladesh, keeping in mind the depth of Bangladesh’s batting and the number of left-handers they have.
The Indian ODI team has also kept full strength for three-match series.
The 34-year-old Harbhajan has been rewarded with a berth in the 15-member squad to be captained by Virat Kohli after having bowled well for Mumbai Indians in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL).
“Harbhajan has been discussed earlier as well. The selection committee has picked Harbhajan due to the strength of Bangladesh batting especially the number of left-handers they have. It was decided that Harbhajan should be there for these reasons. Captain Virat Kohli’s opinion was also taken on this,” the selection committee head Sandeep Patil, a former Indian cricketer, told reporters.
Harbhajan had last played a Test for India in March 2013 against Australia in a home series. The temperamental spinner is the third highest Test wicket-taker for India with 413 wickets to his credit in 101 matches.
Contrary to speculation about top players being rested for Bangladesh series, the selectors decided to go with full strength squads for both the Test and the three ODIs starting on June 10 in Fatullah. The three ODIs will be played on June 18, 21 and 24 in Mirpur.
Barring Harbhajan, who has been out of Indian team for more than two years, there were no major surprises in the squad announced by Indian Cricket Board Secretary Anurag Thakur after a meeting of a five-member selection committee which lasted for more than an hour in Mumbai.
While Kohli will captain India in Test, Dhoni will lead in ODI series.
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was dropped from the Test squad while Mohammed Shami, who is recovering from a knee surgery, has been left out of the ODI side. He has been replaced by medium pacer Dhawal Kulkarni in the ODI squad. Kulkarni has played only four ODIs so far and has taken 8 wickets.
Following are Indian teams for the Test match and ODI series against Bangladesh:
ODIs: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (c), Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohit Sharma, Stuart Binny, Dhawal Kulkarni.
Test: Virat Kohli (c), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, K L Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhimaan Saha, R Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh, Karn Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Ishant Sharma.
Source: The Daily Star