Since India’s win over England last night, it’s been all about Harbhajan Singh and his comeback. The off-spinner, who has spent considerable time on the sidelines, needed a strong performance, and his fantastic figures of 4/12 will silence his critics for some time.
According to veteran sports writer Ayaz Memon, the performance yesterday was a significant step in Bhajji’s career.
“Personally the performance means a lot to him, especially since it’s an international tournament. He bowled very well, England didn’t bat particularly well, and what this has done is throw up more dilemmas for India’s think-tank,” he said.
With Zaheer Khan, Virender Sehwag and Ravichandran Ashwin rested for the match, it will be interesting to see who is left out in future matches.
“I don’t think Irfan can be dropped since he is a handy bat too. If the pitches behave like they did against England then India need more spinners in the side. I think Zaheer will come back for Ashok Dinda and they (those who select the team) will be reluctant to drop Harbhajan, and maybe even Piyush Chawla,” he said.
This certainly means playing an extra bowler with Irfan playing as the all-rounder with MS Dhoni.
But the biggest question this throws up is whether Sehwag will find it hard to come back to the side. Ayaz said, “Sehwag might find it very difficult to come into the team. We are all confused about Sehwag… he bats in Test matches as if it’s a T20, but his record in limited overs matches is modest.”
If West Indies qualify for the Super Eights, then the obvious question is whether this Indian bowling attack can trouble the most enviable batting side in the tournament. But Ayaz is of the opinion that “they can trouble any side.”
For Team India, it’s very important to focus on short-term objectives and which set of players serve them best in this tournament, Ayaz said.
To listen to the full conversation between Pulasta Dhar and Ayaz Memon, check out the video above.