Harbhajan Singh made a comeback to the Indian Test squad after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the squads for India's tour of Bangladesh in June this year.
The selectors picked this veteran spinner based on his good performance for Mumbai Indians (MI) in IPL and this sparked a debate among the former Indian cricketers.
Harbhajan has taken 16 wickets in just 14 matches at an economy rate of 7.75 in this IPL, just ahead of India's tour to Bangladesh. His strike rate has also been commendable at 25.75. Harbhajan was instrumental in powering MI to the big final of the ongoing T20 extravaganza as well.
"He deserves this comeback. He is really bowling well, back. He is really bowling well, and looking in perfect rhythm. The ball is coming well out of his hand. He is very close to the Harbhajan of 'old'," former India left-arm spinner Maninder Singh said in an interview with The Times of India.
In spite of Harbhajan being in good form, his selection does raise a few questions and this time it was former Indian cricketer and chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar, who was unhappy with the decision of BCCI.
"If the selectors found him good enough now, why was he dropped two years back, despite being the senior-most bowler of the team? And what has he done in the last two years to get picked? The whole thing defies logic," Vengsarkar told TOI.
In the last two years, Harbhajan has bagged 38 wickets in IPL but he has not played much of domestic cricket. He has played only eight domestic matches so far this season. Former Indian star batsman Sunil Gavaskar defended BCCI's decision as he feels that someone like Harbhajan doesn't need to prove himself all over again for this tour as it is clear from the Board's decision that they have picked the 'turbantor' for this bilateral series against Bangladesh based on his performance in IPL.
"The IPL is no criteria for selection in the Test team. You have to bowl just four overs in an IPL game, whereas in a Test, you may have to bowl at least 25-30 overs," Vengasarkar retorted.
Former Indian spinner Bishen Singh Bedi too did not support BCCI's decision about picking Harbhajan for the India's upcoming tour to Bangladesh and posted about the same on micro-blogging site Twitter.