'Ojha, Harbhajan must for Tests'

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Thursday took a swipe at the selectors’ decision to omit left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha, especially after a 10-wicket haul in his last Test.

Pointing out that India’s weak spin department contributed to the 0-1 series loss in New Zealand, Ganguly said Ojha and veteran offspinner Harbhajan Singh were a must for the Test side. “I’m highly surprised at Ojha’s exclusion. He has the ability to take five wickets,” Ganguly said on Thursday.

Ojha got a 10-wicket haul against the West Indies in Sachin Tendulkar’s farewell Test but was surprisingly dropped for the touring Kiwi squad.

“If you see his career, he got five wickets in Mumbai in the first day, in the same conditions where Ashwin got three. He has got the variety to take wickets,” Ganguly said.
“I don’t think pacers are a reason for India’s defeat. But it’s our spin department where we’re lacking. All big teams have great spinners, be it Muttiah Muralitharan or Graeme Swann.

“Dhoni has to think about his spin department. Jadeja has no variation. We also need to bring back Harbhajan Singh. He has good record overseas. Both of them (Harbhajan and Ojha) are a must especially in Test cricket,” he added.

A day after calling Dhoni’s Test captaincy ‘obnoxious’, Ganguly said he has to be a little more brave in taking decisions. “He has to be bold in taking decisions. He has to take risks to win. Sometimes, his decisions are negative like his decision to field after winning the toss.”

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