'Will it be appropriate to say Harbhajan has been thrown out?'
Former India captain Bishen Singh Bedi has reacted with caution on Harbhajan Singh's axing from India's squad, even as he advised the off-spinner to get back to domestic circuit to get his mojo back.
Although he was ignored for the national team, Harbhajan was named captain of the 'India Green' team in the NKP Salve
Challenger Trophy, to be held in Nagpur from October 10 to 13.
"I have nothing to say on this (Harbhajan's axing) because there is a selection committee to decide on this. But, will it be appropriate to say he is thrown out, instead of dropped?," Bedi, himself a former left-arm spinner, asked sarcastically.
'Players are not playing enough domestic cricket'
The selectors dropped Harbhajan for the first two ODIs against England and included rookie leg-spinner Rahul Sharma, who impressed in the last IPL season.
"I don't know whether leaving out Harbhajan is the right decision; time will only tell, but quite a few new names have been thrown in. Let's hope the youngsters will avail of this opportunity," Bedi said, on the occasion of the launch of his biography Bishen: Portrait of a Cricketer, written by Suresh Menon.
"These players should be playing more domestic cricket. They are not playing enough domestic cricket.
"Can anyone tell me when did Sachin Tendulkar face Harbhajan last time in the domestic circuit?," he questioned.
'We have only mediocre bowlers at the moment'
Asked whether Harbhajan's heydays are over, he replied, "A bowler has to decide what is his due date; a batsmen has to decide. But if you leave it to the selectors, it will become slightly more depressing."
Bedi also held excess of limited-overs cricket and the advent of Twenty20 as the reason for the lack of quality spinners in India.
"The fault lies with us. If you want to see T20 and IPL, this is what you will get. By bowling only four or 10 overs, one can't get control.
"If one is not bowling a lot you will only get mediocre bowlers and that is what we have at the moment," said the former left-arm orthodox spinner who is known for straight-forward talking.
'What has changed is the attitude'
Cricket is the same... played on 22 yards, height of the stumps are the same, the weight of the ball is the same, width of the bat is still the same. What has changed is the attitude," he added.
Bedi termed Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble as his modern-day role models.
"Tendulkar, Rahul, Kumble are my present day role models. I have got highest regards for them. They are very dedicated.
"They are outstanding servants of the game," he signed off.