Former Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh expressed his belief that India erred in excluding experienced batters like Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara from Test plans.

Former Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh criticized India’s decision to drop experienced batters Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara from the Test squad, expressing dismay over their absence during India’s hefty defeat in the Centurion Test against South Africa. Harbhajan emphasized Pujara’s significant contributions, questioning the rationale behind sidelining him.

In a YouTube video, he highlighted Pujara’s invaluable role in pivotal Test victories in Australia and England, underscoring the necessity of his patient, match-saving style.

“Didn’t select Ajinkya Rahane and have left Cheteshwar Pujara out for no reason. These are the two players who have scored runs everywhere. If you look at the previous record Pujara has the same contribution as Kohli had. I don’t understand why Pujara has been left out, we still don’t have a better batter than Pujara in Test cricket. He plays slowly but he saves you, because of him India won Test in Australia and England,” Harbhajan said.

The former Indian bowler also highlighted India’s struggle in the first Test against South Africa, emphasizing their failure to assert themselves after posting a modest 245 runs in the first innings. Despite Virat Kohli’s and KL Rahul’s significant contribution, India’s lackluster performance in both innings indicated their inability to compete. Harbhajan stressed that the game was effectively decided by India’s first-innings display. With a heavy defeat, India faces a need for a turnaround to regain momentum in the upcoming second Test scheduled in Cape Town on January 3.

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Last Updated on December 30, 2023

Senior Sports Copywriter