New Delhi: Discarded off-spinner Harbhajan Singh is of the opinion that India’s home series against Sri Lanka served little purpose ahead of the gruelling tour of South Africa. India have already lost the three-match Test series and are staring at a whitewash against the Proteas. Questions have been raised about India’s preparation for the tour and Harbhajan gave his perspective as well. Also Read - VIDEO: When Rohit Sharma Got Standing Ovation For Finally Getting Bat on Ball Against Dale Steyn
“Look I believe the last Sri Lanka series at home served little purpose. We hardly gained anything out of it. Rather a few players could have gone to South Africa early. If not Dharamsala could have been a great place for preparation,” Harbhajan told PTI on the sidelines of the Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Also Read - WTC Final 2021: Mohammed Siraj Should Play Ahead of Ishant Sharma as 3rd Pacer in India Playing 11 vs New Zealand, Says Harbhajan Singh
“Its high altitude, cooler weather, seam movement along with bounce would have given them ideal preparation before a tough assignment like South Africa.” Also Read - Posted WhatsApp Forward in Haste: Harbhajan Singh Offers Unconditional Apology After Twitter Storm
There has been a raging debate about Ajinkya Rahane’s omission from the first two Tests but Harbhajan feels that there is no guarantee that things would have been different had Rahane played.
“I was checking a few stats. Under Virat, Ajinkya’s average is less than 40 over 30 Tests. Also last one year he didn’t score that many runs.
“What if Ajinkya played and India were down 0-2, then would we have said that please bring Rohit. One needs to understand the captain’s point of view also,” the ‘Turbanator’ opined.
However, he feels that while Rahane omission was a 50-50 call, Bhuvneshwar Kumar should have played.
“Bhuvi is a bigger match-winner in today’s date compared to Ishant Sharma. Whenever Bhuvi has performed, India have done well. I still believe all is not lost. We can bounce back and make it 2-1 in Johannesburg,” he observed.
“My advice to the team would be to remain positive. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain. So we should go for it,” he concluded.
(With PTI inputs)