Harbhajan, Ojha a must for Tests, says Ganguly
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly took a swipe at the selectors' decision to omit left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha, especially after a 10-wicket haul in his last Test.
Pointing out that India's weak spin department contributed to the 0-1 series loss in New Zealand, Ganguly said Ojha and veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh were a must for the Test side.
"I'm highly surprised at Ojha's exclusion. He has the ability to take five wickets," said Ganguly.
Ojha got a 10-wicket haul against the West Indies in Sachin Tendulkar's farewell Test, but was dropped from the squad for the New Zealand series.
"If you see his career, he got five wickets in Mumbai on the first day, in the same conditions where Ashwin got three. He has got the variety to take wickets," Ganguly said.
"I don't think pacers are a reason for India's defeat. But it's our spin department where we're lacking. All big teams have great spinners, be it Muttiah Muralitharan or Graeme Swann.
"Dhoni has to think about his spin department. [Ravindra] Jadeja has no variation. We also need to bring back Harbhajan Singh. He has a good record overseas. Both of them [Harbhajan and Ojha] are a must, especially in Test cricket," he added.
Image: Pragyan Ojha
Photographs: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Reuters
'Dhoni has to be bold in taking decisions'
On captaincy, the former India skipper said Dhoni has to be more brave in taking decisions.
"He has to be bold in taking decisions. He has to take risks to win. Sometimes his decisions are negative, like his decision to field after winning the toss," Ganguly said.
Terming Virat Kohli as a future India captain, Ganguly said Dhoni should remain captain at least till the England and Australia series later this year.
"We need an experienced captain. Keeping his record in One-day cricket, he deserves to lead India in two more series in Australia and England.
"If he fails again, then it's time to bring a new captain. There's no question of Dhoni's captaincy in ODIs. He will remain the captain till the World Cup.
"It will be a much bigger shock for a youngster to recover from nine Tests defeat. Especially, since we are looking at Virat Kohli as the future captain.
"Virat Kohli is the obvious and certain choice for captaincy. He's the best player the world in [the] One-day format at the moment. But, as I said, we have to see till the Australia series."
Image: Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Photographs: Nigel Marple/Reuters