Harbhajan Singh calls for balanced Indian squad for Australia: The veteran off-spinner has called against naming a full strength squad.
The imminent series against Australia will be India’s last international assignment before the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. With the team squad set to be announced on Friday, the selectors are expected to face a daunting task.
While one notion will be to continue doing the experiments in order to find the best possible combination, another would be to let the topmost names play at least one complete series together before the World Cup.
In a recent interview with Sports Tak, veteran India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh spoke against playing the best players in the series against Australia. Citing workload management as the reason, Harbhajan wanted the senior players to be rested for the series.
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“I don’t think you need to put the best 11-13 players in play because they had a very long tour of Australia and New Zealand. If they are asked to play in India, it might be too much for their body and then there is IPL also. So, it will be good if the senior players can be rested as much as possible,” Harbhajan was quoted was saying.
Harbhajan hints at trying young players
The 38-year cricketer’s views weren’t just for the sake of it. He mentioned that the selectors can look at playing uncapped players across divisions for it will give them a chance to build a team beyond the World Cup as well.
“This can be taken a chance for players like Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Priyank Panchal and similarly you can see Siddarth Kaul and Mayank Markande, these young players can be given a chance and the pool should be expanded. If the pool is large, more and more players will come.
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“Don’t think only about the World Cup but there has to be cricket after that too and a look should be given to people who will play after that and those should be looked at. Some senior players should be rested and some young players should get the opportunity in the India vs Australia series and it should be a mix-and-match,” Harbhajan added.
‘Kohli will have to manage his workload’
Harbhajan, who last played for India during the Asia Cup in 2016, expressed his concern about the fitness of players chiefly India captain Virat Kohli. With the Indian Premier League and the World Cup having a minimal gap between them, remaining injury-free will be of priority to the players.
“Virat, as a captain, has to see how to manage players and who to rest and who not to rest, it’s an important factor. He also has to keep his fitness in check. There are back-to-back matches in the IPL and there’s a lot of travelling so he has to make sure that he doesn’t get too tired or get a niggle.
“If he remains fit, he is going to make runs in England because if the summer is good there then it’s going to be an Indian summer,” he concluded.