Home/News ( 2014 )
News
share

I am still India's number one off-spinner: Harbhajan

Thu, 06 Mar 2014 04:20 PM

New Delhi, March 6: After 15 years of international cricket, Harbhajan Singh is still enjoying playing in domestic cricket. The 33-year-old rates himself the best off-spinner in the country and says it is a matter of time before he is recalled to the national side.


You ask him about the motivation for toiling on the nondescript grounds, the veteran of 694 international wickets snaps back.


"What could be a bigger motivation than striving here to get back into the Indian team," Harbhajan, who is relishing captaining Punjab, told IANS on the sidelines of the North Zone Vijay Hazare Trophy at the Ferozeshah Kotla here.


"Every game is an opportunity for a guy like me, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir or anyone who is eying a comeback," says Harbhajan, who last played for India in March 2013.


It would be tough for selectors to keep a player of his stature out for so long, especially at a time when the Indian bowlers are finding it tough at home and overseas and number one offie Ravichandran Ashwin getting criticised often for trying too many variations without getting the desired results.


Harbhajan’s former captain Sourav Ganguly remains his strong backer and feels the feisty cricketer deserves to be in the national team. The country’s most successful off-spinner concurs with his mentor.


“I would not talk about anyone who is playing for India, but I do feel I am still the best in the business. I still have a lot to offer and see myself playing at the highest level for at least three to four years,” says a fit looking Harbhajan.


Playing local competitions has also given him an opportunity to gauge the spin talent pool across India. Unfortunately, he doesn’t come up with a rosy picture.


“It feels bad to say that I have not seen a spinner who can run through a side,” he says remembering his hey days bowling in tandem with another great, Anil Kumble.


He goes on to explain the tricky issue facing Indian cricket.


“Being a spinner means you should be able to spin the ball. I understand you are playing on flat tracks most of the time, but you got to have a stock ball. A ball that you can bowl 90 percent of the time even with your eyes shut.


“I am all for variations, but at max you have two of them. And there are bowlers who don’t have a doosra or a carom ball, they get variation by using the crease, change their pace or under cut.


“You put the batsmen in doubt by spinning the normal delivery. If you are doing that consistently and the odd ball is going the other way, it automatically plays on the batsmen’s mind.


“Shane Warne is a perfect example of that. He did not have a googly but his basics were so strong that he took most of his wickets with leg-spin. And Murali’s doosra was dangerous because his off-spin turned a lot. That is why the youngsters need to focus on basics,” he says.


The chat moves back to his career and the dual role he is performing by leading Punjab?


“Captaincy has been doing good so far. It feels good to be around the youngsters. We did not play as well as we should have in the Ranji Trophy, but we hope to make up for that in the one-dayers,” he says, adding that he himself would like to take more wickets in the remaining games and be miserly with the runs.


Talking of captaincy, it is difficult not to ask him about the two Indian captains he played under for a long time and especially when Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s leadership is being questioned more than ever.


“Both (Dhoni and Ganguly) had different leadership styles. Dhoni is cool. He leaves the decision making to the bowlers, like whatever field you want, which is a good thing. Only the bowler knows where he is going to bowl a particular delivery.

© IANS

Relatednews

  • Sat, 18-Oct-2014
    New Delhi, Oct 18: Apart from a strong team, a healthy team environment was crucial for India's title triumph at the 2011 World Cup, off-spinner Harbhajan Singh said here Saturday. “During the 2011 World Cup, our team was really strong. But the most important factor was the healthy team environment..
  • Sun, 17-Aug-2014
    New Delhi, Aug 17: Cricketers, both former as well as current, took to social media to hail retiring Sri Lankan great Mahela Jayawardene as a legend. Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh showered praise on the former Sri Lanka captain adding that it was always a challenge f..
  • Mon, 28-Apr-2014
    New Delhi, Apr 28 Mumbai Indians skipper Harbhajan Singh, who has been out of the national team since September last year, was concerned with his woeful form that has also dogged him in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The off-spinner was dropped from the national team af..
  • Mon, 07-Apr-2014
    New Delhi, April 7: Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh pleaded with fans not to crucify Yuvraj Singh for his lacklustre performance in the final of the World Twenty20 and warned against writing him off. Tendulkar wrote on his Facebook page tha..
  • Mon, 07-Apr-2014
    New Delhi, April 7: India discard off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has asked cricket fans not to crucify Yuvraj Singh for his inability to force the pace in the World Twenty20 final and reminded them that he had won two World Cups for the country in 2007 and 2011. Harbhajan to..
  • Thu, 27-Mar-2014
    Discarded off-spinner Harbhajan Singh must be a happy man watching othersof his tribe doing well in the World Twenty20. Seven years ago, after India's success in the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007, Harbhajan feared Twenty20 cricket would kill spinners. His fears were justified. S..
  • Tue, 11-Mar-2014
    Kolkata, March 11: Describing the Eden Gardens, which has seen him come up with some spendid performances, as "another mom" for him, India discard offie Harbhajan Singh Tuesday said he was looking forward to a successful Vijay Hazare stint at the hallowed turf. Harbhajan,..
  • Sat, 01-Mar-2014
    New Delhi, March 1: India's most successful off-spinner Harbhajan Singh is worried about the dwindling spin talent in the country. Harbhajan, who is busy playing domestic cricket for Punjab after being sidelined from the national team, says he has not spotted a quality sp..
  • Mon, 03-Feb-2014
    Bangalore, Feb 3: Harbhajan Singh will lead the Rest of India (RoI) side against Ranji Trophy champions Karnataka in the Irani Cup to be held here Feb 9-13. The 15-man RoI squad includes Gautam Gambhir, Amit Mishra, Dinesh Karthik, Varun Aaron and Parvez Rasool. Harbhajan..
  • Sat, 18-Jan-2014
    Mumbai, Jan 17: The Indian cricket team selectors Friday named youngster Sanju Samson and seniors Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh among the 30 probables for the Twenty20 World Cup in Bangladesh March 16-April 6. Discarded India openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir were ov..
advertisement
2005-2014 vCricket.com All rights reserved. Version 7.3
Follow us on