While the debate surrounding India’s preparations before heading for the South African tour continues, veteran Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has opined that the series against Sri Lanka was not the correct way to prepare for an important away tour to the rainbow nation. Stating that venues could have also been chosen wisely, Harbhajan maintained that Dharmasala with its high altitude, cooler weather, seam movement along with bounce would have given them ideal preparation.
“Look I believe the last Sri Lanka series at home served little purpose. We hardly gained anything out of it. Rather a few players could have gone to South Africa early. If not Dharamsala could have been a great place for preparation,” PTI quoted Harbhajan saying.
“Its high altitude, cooler weather, seam movement along with bounce would have given them ideal preparation before a tough assignment like South Africa,” he added.
On the exclusion of Ajinkya Rahane, Harbhajan said, “I was checking a few stats. Under Virat, Ajinkya’s average is less than 40 over 30 Tests. Also last one year he didn’t score that many runs. What if Ajinkya played and India were down 0-2, then would we have said that please bring Rohit. One needs to understand the captain’s point of view also.”
However, he feels that while Rahane omission was a 50-50 call, Bhuvneshwar Kumar should have played.
“Bhuvi is a bigger match-winner in today’s date compared to Ishant Sharma. Whenever Bhuvi has performed, India have done well. I still believe all is not lost. We can bounce back and make it 2-1 in Johannesburg,” he added before concluding by saying, “My advice to the team would be to remain positive. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain. So we should go for it,” he concluded.