Harbhajan Singh said that MS Dhoni has earned a place in the side for so long because of his understanding of the game and leadership experience apart from his batting. However, he questioned the selectors for not considering him in the Indian squad for Champions Trophy despite his experience.
Though the runs have not come as consistently as they should, MS Dhoni has been hitting the ball better after he decided to give up captaincy and was promoted up the order. Harbhajan Singh, in an interview, said that Dhoni has earned his place in the team not merely for his batting abilities but also for what he brings to the team along with his excellent wicket-keeping skills. With many youngsters now making an entry in the side, Dhoni’s presence is vital in the early days of their career.
“There is no doubt that Dhoni brings a lot to the table apart from his batting, whether he is in form or not. Obviously, we have seen that he is not hitting the ball as well as we have seen. But he has been captain and he understands the game and having him in the middle will help a lot of youngsters and people out there who are not feeling great in particular moments. So he has that edge,” said Harbhajan, as reported by Indian Express.
However, the veteran off-spinner has expressed his disappointment with the selectors for not considering him as a contender in the Indian squad for the upcoming Champions Trophy. In the 236 ODI matches he has played, Harbhajan has picked 269 wickets at an average of 33.35. His disappointment arises from his records and experience being neglected while Dhoni gets the “privilege.”
The 36-year-old added, “When it comes to me, I do feel that we are not given that sort of privilege, We too have played for 19 years and won and lost India matches. I have won two World Cups too. So this privilege is for some players, and for some, it is not and I’m one of those for whom this privilege is not there. I don’t know why that is the case.”
He directly addressed the selectors by claiming that he is being treated differently despite bringing the same qualities to the table as the others in the team. “That question of ‘why’, needs to be asked to the selectors. I don’t want to sing my own praises but the amount of cricket others have played even I understand the game as much and what they bring to the table we also bring to the table. We too wish to play for the country as much,” he explained.
Though his claim that he should have been given a chance is uncalled for, considering he scored 16 runs and picked 8 wickets for the Mumbai Indians this season, his disappointment with Gautam Gambhir ‘s omission from the squad despite having a great season in the IPL with 498 runs under his name, was not surprising.
“It is not fair to be honest. Why do we play such tournaments (like the IPL)? We play to get selected to play for India. If people are doing well. Let’s talk about Gautam Gambhir. He has the most number of runs consistently. If I talk about myself, yes, you know we all were hoping that we might be somewhere in the mix. But knowing that in my scenario I knew that if Ashwin will be fit then he will be there in the team and if he is not then I have a chance,” he concluded.
Did you know, Virender Sehwag is the only batsman in the history to have scored 7,500-plus runs in both Tests & ODIs as an opener.
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India or West Indies? Who will win?
WI hold a 60-53 H2H advantage over IND historically but in last 10 completed games between them , IND have won 7. IND has also won all last 5 games at this venue.