| Sourav Ganguly |
Calcutta: Yuvraj Singh’s inclusion in the national side for the two Twenty20 Internationals against New Zealand and the World T20 Championships has surprised Sourav Ganguly. On Friday, speaking on the sidelines of a promotional, Sourav sounded apprehensive about the all-rounder’s fitness.
“I’m a bit surprised with Yuvraj’s selection. I’m not sure whether he is ready for the grind,” Sourav said.
Having recovered from cancer, Yuvraj will be making a comeback to competitive cricket after eight months since playing his last Test against the West Indies in November last year.
“Indeed, it is good news that he has recovered from the illness… That is the best thing that has happened to him… I wish and pray that he can remain fit for the tournament.”
The former India captain welcomed the inclusion of Harbhajan Singh and Lakshmipathy Balaji in the T20 team.
“Balaji has done very well in the IPL and he is an excellent bowler. He is a quality bowler and I have seen that in Pakistan in 2004. He had injury problems and I’m happy to see him back in the team.
“Harbhajan is a class act. When you play for a long time, you do have hiccups... I’m happy that he has made a comeback,” he said.
India will also be playing two Test matches against New Zealand, the first of which starts on August 23. Incidentally, the team will play their first Test series after a humiliating 0-4 drubbing against Australia last season.
Asked whether he was pleased with the Test squad, the former India captain said: “I’m disappointed with the selection. My point is that it is almost the same team who lost against Australia. There have been very few changes. It means that the selectors are believing that everything is fine… So, they are not ringing in the changes… I’m not sure about their policy.”
Asked about VVS Laxman’s inclusion in the Test squad, Sourav said: “Selection has to be on the basis of form, it should not be on the basis of age. For someone like Laxman, he should be allowed to take his own decision…
“What I feel is important is the selectors should give him a clear picture. You should give him a time frame…
“It should not be like you are picked for this tour and you may not play the next, it should not be like that...” he pointed out.
Asked about Rohit Sharma’s future, particularly in the longer format of the game, Sourav said: “He has got time... If he gets his head right, he will get his form back.”