November 9, 2011

NEW DELHI: Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram feels the upcoming Test series against West Indies will help India “regain confidence” and finalise a settled squad for the more challenging Australia tour next month.

India take on the Caribbean side in the first of the three Tests from Sunday – there first five-day assignment after 0-4 thrashing at the hands of England in July-August.

“India can use this series to come up with the right combination and balance. This tour will help them regain the lost confidence after the thrashing in England. The team can possibly blood in new players who could be used Down Under”, Akram said.

However, Akram sees no reason why off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has been left out of the side for the first Test.

“I can’t understand why Harbhajan is out. Players should be picked in the squad, keeping long-term plans in mind and Bhajji certainly fits the bill. He has been dropped after just one bad series in England, which I think is unfair because he is only 31,” said Akram.

“Ashwin and Ojha are good no doubt, but they should be used to complement Harbhajan. Given his vast experience, India can’t do without Bhajji’s class,” he quipped.

Speaking on the composition of the visitors, Akram felt Chris Gayle’s dropping would prove to be very costly for them.

“There is clearly a communication gap and a clash of egos between both parties. It should be solved for the good and Gayle should give priority to his country. West Indies is certainly bigger than Chris Gayle,” he said.

Courtesy: Times of India

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