We will beat New Zealand 5-0,boasts Bhajji

In this interview India's ace offie talks about issues ranging from umpire referral system,the tour to NZ and even IPL.

Written by Agencies | Jalandhar | Published: February 12, 2009 2:38:15 pm

India’s temperamental spinner Harbhajan Singh wants the umpire referral system to be implemented in one-dayers also to avoid dubious umpiring decisions like the ones Sachin Tendulkar got in the recently concluded ODI series against Sri Lanka.

“The umpire referral system is good for the game,which is aimed at making the game more fair as both batsmen and bowler can refer any controversial decision for its correction,” Harbhajan said about the rule which the International Cricket Council has tried out on an experimental basis in Test matches since last year.

“I think the system should also be there in ODIs. If it would have been implemented in the ODIs then Sachin Tendulkar would have benefited in Sri Lanka,” he said in an interview on Thursday.

During the ODI series against the Lankans which India won 4-1,Tendulkar fell victim to dubious umpiring decisions in all the three matches he played. “Such types of rules always benefit the game as well as the players,” Harbhajan said.

However,the referral system has its share of detractors with England and Wales Cricket Board Chairman Giles Clarke demanding the removal of the system,citing the reason that it undermines the authority of on-field officials.

Clarke was of the view that instead of the umpire referral system,the rule used during the Stanford Twenty20 series where the third umpire intervened on his own in case of doubt,should be trialled.

Harbhajan said he was not worried about his inclusion in the list of Indians who would automatically be a part of the ICC’s International Registered Testing Pool (IRTP) under the strengthened anti-doping code.

He said he always consulted the team physiotherapist before taking any medicine. “Our physiotherapist rang me up yesterday and informed me about my inclusion in the IRTP,” he said,adding earlier the code was used only during important ICC events.

Asked whether players included in the IRTP list could be punished for even an inadvertent mistake of taking some banned medicine,Harbhajan said now the cricketers,who are under watch,would have to inform the physiotherapist in advance before taking any treatment or medicine.

As per the new rule,each cricketer will have to maintain a confidential online profile that will allow the ICC to keep track of their movements right through the year. The online profile,called the Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) will then serve as a unique document that will contain all relevant medical details of a player.

The other Indian players in this list are Sachin Tendulkar,Gautam Gambhir,Irfan Pathan,Zaheer Khan,Mahendra Singh Dhoni,Yuvraj Singh,Munaf Patel,and Virender Sehwag.

Harbhajan also said that he has completely recovered from the hamstring injury which had kept him out of the Sri Lanka series. “I have fully recovered from my injury and fit to join the upcoming New Zealand Tour,” he said.

Asked whether he would have to make some adjustment in his bowling style on the pace-friendly New Zealand wickets,Harbhajan said,”I don’t know what type of pitches we are going to get in New Zealand,but basics always remain the same. I will try to adjust myself to the changing condition.

“My responsibility as a senior bowler is to make good combination of spinners and both Pragyan Ojha and Amit Mishra are good bowlers and have already shown their talent.” Harbhajan was also confident that Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s team would whitewash the Kiwis in the ODI series to topple Australia and South Africa in the ICC ODI Championship table.

“I am sure that we will beat New Zealand 5-0 to become the number one team in the world,” he said. On upcoming Indian Premier League,he said his team,the Mumbai Indians,would emerge as a strong contender to win the championship,as the side boasts of big names like Tendulkar,Zaheer Khan,Sanath Jayasuriya,Kyle Mills and JP Duminy.

Asked about his bad memories of last edition’s IPL,when he was banned after the slapgate row with fellow India teammate S Sreesanth,Harbhajan said,”I want to forget that incident as it was my blunder,which will not be repeated in my whole life.”

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