Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Struggling Harbhajan dropped from India squad

Out-of-form off-spinner among several established players who have been left out of the hosts' limited-overs series against England.

India's cricket selectors on Thursday left out Harbhajan Singh, the star off-spinner, for the first two one-day internationals (ODIs) of next month's home series against England.

The bowler's absence weakens the injury-ravaged world champions, who picked three rookies in a new-look 15-man squad for the first two ODIs in Hyderabad on October 14 and New Delhi on October 17.

Harbhajan, 31, paid the price for a poor Test series in England, where India were humbled 4-0, taking just two wickets in as many matches at an average of 143.50, before heading home with an abdominal strain.

Since making his international debut in 1998, Harbhajan has taken 406 wickets in 98 Tests and 259 wickets in 229 ODIs.

MS Dhoni, the captain, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina are the only survivors from the side that defeated Sri Lanka in the World Cup final in Mumbai on April 2.

Rahul Sharma, 24, the leg-spinner, and the pace bowlers Sreenath Aravind, 27, and Varun Aaron, 21, are without international experience. Aaron was part of the one-day squad in England but did not play a match.

Krishnamachari Srikkanth, the chief selector and former India opening batsman, refused to comment on Harbhajan's exclusion, but urged fans to back the young team.

"Youngsters bring a lot of enthusiasm to the game. They are fit and know they must deliver," Srikkanth said on Thursday.

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Karim Benzema of Real Madrid celebrates scoring the opening goal in the Champions League semi-final first leg match against Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday in Madrid, Spain. Martin Rose / Bongarts / Getty Images / April 23, 2014

In pictures: Benzema propels Real Madrid over Bayern Munich

Images from Real Madrid's 1-0 win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final first leg match at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night.

 UAE’s Charlie Sargent tries to avoid a tackle by Singapore team members during the one-off Division 1 Test at The Sevens. The Singapore-born winger was making his debut. Sarah Dea / The National

Asian Five Nations: UAE go into rebuilding mode in Division 2

With a new look squad, including five emerging Emirati players, the UAE will hope to restructure and get into the winning habit in more forgiving climes when they drop a level in the revamped competition next season.

 Chris Gayle has been the most feared batsman in the Royal Challengers Bangalore line-up since he joined the team in 2011. Indranil Mukherjee / AFP

Parthiv continues to fill Gayle’s big shoes for Bangalore

Indian wicketkeeper-batsman will continue to open the innings for Royal Challengers with the West Indian still nursing his bad back, writes Paul Radley.

 Ian Poulter is fifth on the points list to make the cut in a 12-man European side for the Ryder Cup. Paul Lakatos / AFP

Ian Poulter sees momentum in Europe’s squad-building, with Ryder

Lot of players are striking well to stay in contention for the 12 spots in the team, but there is still lot of time before September, he warns.

 Erykan Bityutsky pulls a 4x4 car during the final day of the UAE Strongman Competition in Dubai. Delores Johnson / The National

UAE Strongman Competition takes weight training to a whole new scale

Two-day competition in Dubai attracts men and women from across the Emirates and proves it takes more than just bulky muscles to win, writes Ali Khaled.

 Benfica's Oscar Cardozo, from Paraguay, lifts the trophy celebrating after beating Olhanense on Sunday at Estadio da Luz. Benfica's 2-0 clinched them the Portuguese Primeira Liga championship. They will play Juventus in the the first leg of their Europa League semi-final tie on Thursday April 24. Francisco Seco / AP / April 20, 2014

Ambitious Benfica ready for Juventus while Sevilla and Valencia set to battle in Europa last-four

Benfica, fresh off clinching their 33rd Portuguese title, are looking to keep Juventus from reaching the Europa League final - which will be played in Turin - while the other semi-final sees La Liga rivals Sevilla and Valencia clash.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National