New Delhi: Former selection committee chairman Krishnamachari Srikkanth on Tuesday defended the Indian selectors' decision to retain the spin trio of R Ashwim, Pragyan Ojha and Harbhajan Singh in the squad for the third Test against England.
Ashwin, Ojha and Harbhajan were thrashed all over the park by England batsmen in the second Test which the visitors won by 10 wickets on a spin-friendly pitch at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium inside four days, but Srikkanth said a player should not be axed on the basis of just one poor performance.
Asked if the selectors should have picked a leg-spinner in the squad announced today to provide more variation in India's bowling attack, Srikkanth said, "Having a leg-spinner in the squad is always great. But you cannot drop a player on the basis of just one match. They have to be given a fair run.
"Harbhajan Singh had just come back after one year in wilderness. We cannot just drop him after effectively just one innings. Everybody knows he is yet to get his old form back and he needs to given some more time," Srikkanth told a TV channel.
He said the selectors were right in retaining the same squad for the third Test in Kolkata.
"I am not surprised that there was no change in the squad. We lost badly but you cannot change the squad on the basis of one bad result. The selectors were right."
The former captain, however, was of the view that the selectors had sent out a message to the non-performing players by picking the squad for only the third Test instead of two Tests earlier announced.
"It is probably right that they have selected the squad for just the third Test. Some people are under scanner if I may say so. I don't know who are they. It will depend on the result of the third Test in Kolkata," Srikkanth said.
"If something goes wrong in Kolkata and some players do not perform I guess there could be problems for these players," he added.