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Harbhajan back in Test squad for Bangladesh tour

By Harish Kotian
Last updated on: May 20, 2015 15:22 IST
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Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was the shock inclusion in the Test team as the Board of Control for Cricket in India named full strength squads for the upcoming Test and One-Day International series in Bangladesh.

Sidelined for more than two years, he will replace left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja.

Harbhajan SinghVirat Kohli will lead in the one-off Test, from June 10 to 14, while Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who retired from the longer format of the game, will captain the team in the three One-dayers, in Mirpur, on June 18, 21 and 24.

"Harbhajan was discussed in our earlier meetings also, particularly regarding this Bangladesh tour. Harbhajan was included specifically looking at the batting order of Bangladesh, which includes a lot of left-handers.

"The selectors also had a long discussion with captain Kohli before selecting the team,” said chairman of selectors Sandeep Patil, in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Ravichandran Ashwin and leggie Karn Sharma are the other spinners in the squad.

Pacer Mohammed Shami, who missed the ongoing Indian Premier League because of a knee injury, was not considered as he is yet to recover.

"He will be available after four weeks," Patil claimed.

Mumbai medium pacer Dhawal Kulkarni, who played four ODIs for India (8 wickets), was named as Shami's replacement in the One-day squad.

The selection committee chief pointed out that no players requested to be rested despite them playing non-stop cricket for the last few months, including in the IPL.

His comments perhaps came in the wake of reports that Kohli wanted to take a break and opt out of the Bangladesh tour.

"No players asked for rest, no one called either me or the BCCI," Patil clarified.

Test squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Murali Vijay, Rohit Sharma, K L Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Shikhar Dhawan, Wriddhiman Saha (w/k), Ravichandran Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh, Karn Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Varun Aaron.

ODI squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain),  Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohit Sharma, Stuart Binny, Dhawal Kulkarni.

Image: Harbhajan Singh

Photograph: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

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