Harbhajan Singh backs Vidarbha off-spinner Akshay Wakhare for a spot in Test squad against South Africa

FE Online

Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has backed Akshay Wakhare, an off-spinner who plays for Vidarbha in the Ranji Trophy, for the upcoming Test series against South Africa. His endorsement comes after Wakhare delivered a stellar performance in the Duleep Trophy final which took place on Saturday. Wakhare bowler took 5 wickets for 13 runs which helped his team win the game. In a twitter post, Harbhajan praised the off-spinner and wrote, "Akshay Wakhare a consistent performer with the ball for the last couple of years for his team in 1st class cricket. Back to back Ranji trophy championships for his team. Way to go. India test squad calling."

Akshay Wakhare has represented Vidarbha, Central Zone and Vidarbha Cricket Association in first-class cricket. The 33-year-old off-spinner has played 75 matches with 263 wickets to his name with an economy rate of 2.72. Wakhare's spell turned the game on its head for India Red as they bowled India Green out for 119 runs at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. Indian Green was bowled out inside 40 overs, during the innings Wakhare was on a hat-trick but was unable to get another wicket on the very next ball. With Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin being India's go-to spinners in Test cricket it will not be easy for Wakhare to find a spot in the playing XI. Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal are the other two spinners who could also be part of the Indian Test squad for the series against South Africa which begins in October.