Mumbai: Harbhajan Singh's omission from the ODI team for the first three matches against West Indies is perhaps an indication that the off-spinner will not be on the plane to Australia next month.
The selectors, who will pick the squad for the tour Down Under on Saturday, will find it difficult to fit him in, more so after Ravichandran Ashwin's all-round showing in the ongoing third Test.
The only thing that can go in Harbhajan's favour is his knack of getting under the skin of Australians and his record against them. But his figures in domestic cricket seem to go against him. Including Harbhajan means taking two off-spinners and leaving out in-form left-arm Pragyan Ojha.
In any case, three spinners in the squad for Australia will be too much of a luxury as they will have to carry an extra pacer. They would definitely be wiser after the England tour when injuries forced them to rush bowlers calling them from a holiday.
As for the fast bowlers, Zaheer Khan will be a provisional selection as he has to prove his fitness in the two Ranji Trophy matches he intends to play and also the two warm-up matches in Canberra.
If either Harbhajan or another paceman has to be accommodated then it has to be a 17-member squad and there is a possibility of it consedring it is a long tour of four Tests, two Twenty20s and a tri-series involving India, Australia and Sri Lanka.