Karun Nair was dropped from the squad for the upcoming Test series against West Indies after warming up the bench for six consecutive Tests against Afghanistan and England. @ AFP
Karun Nair was dropped from the squad for the upcoming Test series against West Indies after warming up the bench for six consecutive Tests against Afghanistan and England. @ AFP

India’s veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh lashed out at the MSK Prasad-led selection committee for its dubious procedures in picking the national squad for the two-match Test series against West Indies beginning in Rajkot on Thursday.

After warming up the bench for six consecutive Tests against Afghanistan and England, Karun Nair, India’s second triple centurion after Virender Sehwag, was dropped from the squad for the home series. “This is a mystery that needs to be solved. How can a person sitting on the bench for three months become so bad that he is not good enough to remain in the squad,” Harbhajan told PTI on Tuesday.

“Trust me, I am at pains to understand the thinking of this selection committee and the parameters that they are using for selecting national squads,” he said.

Harbhajan, who has over 700 international wickets across formats, said that he really feels for the Karnataka batsman. “I find different set of rules for different players. There are some who are given a long rope to succeed while for select others they don’t even get one chance to fail. That is not fair,” he said.

He then posed an interesting hypothetical situation for the selectors. “What if Hanuma Vihari fails in two Test matches against West Indies? Though I would never wish something like that for any player. I wish him [Vihari] all the very best.

“[In case Vihari is not able to deliver] so you will go back to Nair but will he be battle ready with confidence for Australia tour? ”

Besides trying to decipher the selection policy, Harbhajan wondered whether the Indian team management and the selection committee are on the same page.

“If the team management did not play Karun for five Tests, then it means that he couldn’t inspire confidence in them.

“Well, my question is whether the selectors were able to convince the captain while naming Karun for the England series? If not, did they seriously consider the name that team management had in mind,” he said.

Harbhajan admitted that poor selection procedures can dent the confidence of the player. “Hope all concerned with team selection undergo course correction before they decide on the Australia tour,” he said.