Former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has suggested a major change in India’s playing XI for the series-deciding third and final Test against South Africa in Cape Town starting on Tuesday. Harbhajan said India should consider playing two spinners as they might get something out of the track. Spinners of both the sides haven’t had a major role to play in this series so far. South Africa’s Keshav Maharaj went wicketless in the two Tests while India’s Ravichandran Ashwin picked up one wicket in the second Test in Johannesburg. Harbhajan, however, feels the story could well be different in Cape Town.
“It is important to play two spinners in Cape Town. This pitch definitely helps the spinners,” Harbhajan said on his YouTube channel.
The former cricketer cited his personal record – Harbhajan had taken 7/120 in 2011 in Cape Town – to back his views.
“Whenever I have played there, I have got help. My best figures (overseas) have come there when I had taken seven wickets. There are a lot of other spinners who have done well there so I feel India should go in with two spinners. Rahul Dravid and the entire team management has to take a call on who will assist Ravichandran Ashwin from the other end,” Harbhajan said.
India have rarely gone in with two spinners in their latest overseas assignments. If India do decide to break the pattern, then the only option they have in their squad apart from Ashwin is another off-spinner Jayant Yadav.
Harbhajan, who recently announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, said the spinners could really make a difference if India bat well and post a total close to 400.
“Once we put up 350-400 runs, and if we have two spinners playing there, which I am assuming because they should, then India can dominate completely. KL Rahul is in good form, Mayank is starting well but isn’t able to convert. I hope India will play this like the perfect match,” he added.
India Test captain Virat Kohli, who had missed the second Test due to a back spasm, is likely to return for the Cape Town Test. India might be forced to make another change as there are question marks over the availability of right-arm seamer Mohammed Siraj, who had suffered an injury during the second Test.
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