Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha a must for the Test side: Sourav Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly highlighted India's dismal performance in New Zealand and harped upon the fact Pragyan Ojha's exclusion was totally uncalled for.

Updated: February 20, 2014 23:49 IST
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Kolkata: 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 today.

Ojha got a 10-wicket haul vs the West Indies in Sachin Tendulkar farewell Test, but only to be 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. (Zaheer Khan can be the brain behind India's young quickies: Akram)

"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 Dhoni has to be a little more brave in taking decisions. (Dhoni needs to take risks abroad: Dravid)

"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," Ganguly told a regional news channel today. (Ganguly calls Dhoni's captaincy 'obnoxious')

Terming Virat Kohli as the future India captain, Ganguly further said that Dhoni should remain the captain at least till England and Australia series later this year. (Dhoni should give captaincy to Kohli: Crowe)

"We need an experienced captain. Keeping his record in one-day cricket, he deserves to lead India in two more series in Australia and England.

"If he fails again, then it's time to bring a new captain. There's no question of Dhoni's captaincy in ODIs. He will remain the captain till World Cup.

"It will be a much bigger shock for a youngster to recover from nine Tests defeat. Especially since we are looking at Virat Kohli as the future captain."

"Virat Kohli is the obvious and certain choice for captaincy. He's the best player the world in one-day format at the moment. But as I said we have to see till the Australia series."

Dhoni's captaincy has called for lot of criticism after India suffered their fourth successive away Test series defeat to make it 10 losses out of 12.

India had earlier lost eight successive Tests in England and Australia, besides also losing ODI series in New Zealand, South Africa.

Ganguly further pointed out that Dhoni's T20 team had made two successful group stage exits in World T20s in 2010 and 2012.

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