Cricket

‘He did dirty work’: Harbhajan Singh takes a subtle jab at Virat Kohli; unveils India’s ‘unsung hero’ in Tests

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Harbhajan Singh takes an indirect dig at Virat Kohli

After another heart-wrenching defeat in the final of an World Test Championship (WTC) 2023 , the Indian cricket team, led by coach Rahul Dravid, has made significant changes to their squad for the upcoming West Indies Test series that will mark the beginning of Team India’s 2023-2025 (WTC) cycle. Despite consistently reaching the finals of the WTC event, India have been unable to clinch the title on both occasions. Determined to end their ICC title drought, the two-time runners-up are eager to make their mark in the upcoming third season of the WTC tournament.

Following their loss to Australia in the previous WTC summit clash, India have handed maiden call-ups to three promising youngsters. Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Mukesh Kumar have earned their spots in the Test squad, thanks to their consistent performances in domestic cricket and for India A.

As the new WTC cycle begins, the selectors have opted to drop veteran batter Cheteshwar Pujara while reinstating Ajinkya Rahane as the vice-captain of the Test side. Pujara’s exclusion has drawn criticism from several quarters, including legendary spinner Harbhajan Singh. The 43-year-old voiced his disappointment with the decision and expressed support for the experienced batter.

Pujara’s omission came after his underwhelming performance in the WTC final. Despite his presence in England and playing county cricket before the final, the right-handed batter n failed to make a significant impact. He managed scores of 14 and 27 as Australia triumphed over India by 209 runs.

The veteran off-spinner, emphasizing the importance of the Rajkot-born cricketer to the Indian Test team, lauded him as a pillar of strength. He acknowledged Pujara’s role in doing the dirty work for the team while others capitalized on it.

“I have a lot of respect for Chesteshwar Pujara for what he has achieved. He has been an unsung hero of the Indian team for many years now. He has been one of those pillars of strength for India, doing the dirty work of hanging in there, making sure other batters got their comfort,” the Jalandhar-born said to PTI.

Harbhajan’s remarks seemed to take a veiled dig at Virat Kohli and other batters who have struggled in Test cricket recently. Kohli has scored only one Test hundred for Team India in last 4 years.

I believe he needs to be given a bit more respect than what he has been given and the way he was chucked out of the team was a surprise for me. Because he isn’t the only one not scoring runs. There are others as well who play in that same team who are scoring runs at same average,” Harbhajan concluded.

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