New Delhi: Harbhajan Singh is not the quitting type. After a two-year lay-off, he has returned into the India reckoning. And don't be surprised if the off-spinner is selected for the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka. The Turbanator is leaner, meaner and fitter.
With an out-form Ravindra Jadeja virtually out of contention, national selectors decided to give their old war horse another chance. Wasting now time, the 35-year-old performed, taking three wickets in the recent one-off Test against Bangladesh.
Then he found himself traveling with a second-string Indian team to Zimbabwe. He played in all the three One-Day Internationals and one Twenty20 International, taking wickets in all the games.
Considering his match winning credentials with the ball, Indian think tank is likely to continue with Harbhajan as one of the spinners when the squad for Sri Lanka tour is announced tomorrow in New Delhi.
Currently, Ravichandran Ashwin leads the pecking order when it comes to the spin department. But the season campaigner in Bhaji, with more than 700 International wickets in his bag, may any day turn the card in his favour. Also the current crop of young Indian spinners in Axar Patel, Karn Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav, etc. are yet to make their presence felt in the international stage.
Besides. the current Sri Lankan top order has five left-handed batsmen in Dimuth Karunaratne, Lahiru Thirimanne, Upul Tharanga, Jehan Mubarak, and Kumar Sangakkara. In the slow and turning pitches in Sri Lanka, his guile and experience may come handy.
And the probability of India fielding two spinners, all offies against the Lankan Lions is also high, given the above stated fact.
A full-strength India squad for the Sri Lanka tour is likely to be picked on July 23, with Virat Kohli as the captain. India will play three Test matches, starting at Galle (August 12-16), Tamil Union Oval (August 20-24) and SSC, Colombo (August 28 to September 1).