Indian cricket great Farokh Engineer came out hard at Harbhajan Singh on Thursday (January 10), criticizing the veteran off-spinner for his fault-finding comments on Ravichandran Ashwin.
Former Test off-spinner condemned Ashwin's performance in India's historic Test series win in Australia, saying when the team needed the spinner in the series, he got injured and meanderingly said that the Tamil Nadu man should be no more priority for the national side in Test cricket.
Ashwin couldn’t contribute much in India’s successful Test campaign in Australia due to injury, as he played only in the first Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at Adelaide, where he picked 6 wickets, before sitting out in the last three matches here.
He further went on to claim that Kuldeep Yadav, who got the opportunity to play in Sydney, brilliantly bowled and deserved to be promoted as the No. 1 spinner followed by Ravindra Jadeja, who also did a brilliant job with his left arm spin, for Tests both at home and overseas.
Harbhajan told media, “They have shown the way forward for Team India - to look at the option of playing them together abroad or in India. Ashwin being injured in two tours. When your team needs you the most, you [R Ashwin] get injured. Kuldeep should be promoted as the No. 1 spinner and Jadeja as the No. 2 spinner. These two guys should be playing together irrespective of where India is playing. They add a lot of strength to the team.”
The aggressive off-spinner continued, “You should play your match-winners. It shouldn't be like they play in overseas conditions "aur jab malai khaane ka time aaye toh koi aur khele" (and when the time comes to reap rewards of your hard work in home conditions, you see someone else getting a chance). They are working hard and winning you games abroad, they deserve to play at home as well.”
Meanwhile, former India stumper Farokh Engineer, during a talk show organized by Legends Club at the Cricket Club of India, lashed out at Harbhajan for his critical comments against Ashwin, saying he should haven’t wash publicly dirty linen on off-spinner, who has replaced him in the side.
Farokh told reporters on Wednesday, “Did you read Harbhajan's comments about Ashwin, he was out of order there. What is first spinner and second spinner? Spinner is a spinner.”
Engineer signed off by saying, “Ashwin is a great bowler. It appeared to me he (Harbhajan) was critical of Ashwin. You don't wash dirty linen in public especially on an off-spinner who has replaced you. It's like (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni criticizing (Rishabh) Pant. It's not cricket.”
(With Times Now Inputs)