Harbhajan Singh picks India’s spinner: The veteran spinner has spoken against Kuldeep Yadav playing the Adelaide Test.
Veteran India spinner Harbhajan Singh believes that captaincy will be a “big challenge” for India Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane during the upcoming tour of Australia. With regular captain Virat Kohli set to miss three Test matches due to the birth of his first child, Rahane is all set to lead India in what should be a riveting tour.
“[Captaincy] definitely a big challenge for Ajinkya Rahane because he hasn’t been captain for an entire series. Also, he’s pretty calm and composed, not so expressive. He’s very different than Virat Kohli,” Harbhajan Singh was quoted as saying by Sports Tak.
— Ajinkya Rahane (@ajinkyarahane88) November 5, 2020
Rahane, who has led India successfully in only the Two Tests that he’s captained so far, will be leading the team for the first time outside India. Harbhajan, who has played 10 matches across formats alongside Rahane in the Playing XI and four under him, has advised him to not adopt Kohli’s personality and continue to be himself.
“I hope he takes the team forward like Virat [Kohli], leading from the front, also scores runs. I would also like to remind Rahane that he doesn’t need to change his style or personality, his game.
“Looking at a personality like Virat, Rahane might think that he has to adopt some of it to beat Australia. But I don’t think that’s necessary. All Rahane needs to do is be himself and make sure he gets the best out of his team,” Harbhajan said.
Harbhajan Singh picks India’s spinner for pink-ball Test vs Australia
Being asked about the lone spinner in the Test side, Harbhajan opined against Kuldeep Yadav making the cut despite picking a five-wicket haul in his last Test which happened to be during India’s last tour of Australia in Sydney.
“When we talk about confidence, Kuldeep [Yadav] hasn’t played a lot of cricket since the 2019 World Cup in England. Even in IPL 2020 he played a handful [five] of games only. It depends on the team management on how they handle him, and how they can get the best out of him,” Harbhajan added.
After Yadav’s SCG five-for, India head coach Ravi Shastri had claimed Yadav to be their top overseas spinner. However, the 25-year old spinner hasn’t played another Test in the last 22 months. With seasoned campaigners in Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja also in the 18-member squad, Harbhajan believes the team management will go either of the two for the pink-ball Test in Adelaide.
“The last time he played a Test in Australia, Ravi Shastri had said that Kuldeep would be the best choice for the Test side on overseas pitches. We will have to wait and see if Shastri sticks by his statement on Kuldeep.
“But looking at his confidence right now, I don’t think India will pick Kuldeep in the 1st Test, they will either go with Ravindra Jadeja or Ravichandran Ashwin,” Harbhajan mentioned.