Former Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh supports Cheteshwar Pujara after the batsman’s exclusion from the Indian Test squad for the upcoming series against the West Indies. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced a 16-member squad led by Rohit Sharma for the two-match Test series scheduled from July 12 to 25.

Despite his county stint with Sussex, he couldn’t significantly impact the match. Harbhajan Singh, expressing his views on Pujara’s absence on his YouTube channel, hopes it is a temporary break for the experienced player. He emphasizes the need to respect Pujara, who has played 100 Test matches, and hopes that the selectors have discussed the plans with him.

“Cheteshwar Pujara is the backbone of this team, and if you are dropping him, then the figures of other batters in the last two years aren’t strong enough. These tough calls should be the same for everyone, no matter how big a player he is. If you don’t consider Cheteshwar Pujara, a big player, other players are not that great.”

Harbhajan Singh

In addition, the BCCI has announced a 17-member squad for the three-match ODI series against the West Indies, with Hardik Pandya appointed as Rohit Sharma’s deputy. Harbhajan suggests that the ODI team should have consisted of young players, particularly those who excelled in the IPL 2023 under Pandya’s captaincy. He believes grooming these talented youngsters would have been an ideal opportunity, although the selected team might be considering the upcoming World Cup.

“I felt that the One-Day team should have gone only under Hardik Pandya’s narrative with a new team. The youngsters, who performed well in the IPL, should have got a chance here. This was the best chance to groom them. Maybe, they are playing this (selected) team considering the World Cup.”

Harbhajan Singh

The India Tour of West Indies will kick off with the first Test match on July 12. The final two T20Is of the tour will take place in Lauderhill, United States. While West Indies is yet to unveil their squad for the upcoming home series, the BCCI has already announced the strong Indian squads for both the Test and ODI formats.

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