He entered the Indian dressing room as a gangly teenager and even after 22 seasons, 40-year-old Harbhajan Singh backs himself to come out on top in a one-on-one “skill” battle with the best spinners in the country.
“If you still want to test me by pitting me for a battle of skills against those youngsters you consider best in the business, please bring it on,” Harbhajan, who has a career T20 economy rate of under 7 with 235 wickets, told PTI in an interaction.
Age at one level is over-rated, feels the veteran of 103 Tests and 236 ODIs.
“You can talk about age if the ball while fielding goes between your legs or your knees are gone or you have done in shoulder which is the reason you can’t give that force.
“But yes, I have been on the field wearing those India colours for at least 800 days (playing time). I have been an achiever who doesn’t need anyone’s sympathy. But yes, if it’s about skills, bring the best in India and I am still ready,” he said.
But can he be at his best from IPL to IPL without playing domestic cricket?
“To each his own. If someone feels he wants game time, good for him. If I bowl 2000 balls at the nets for a month, the amount of top level cricket I have played, it’s good enough,” said Harbhajan, who turned 40 earlier this month.
Tell him that some of the boys who will play IPL this season like Ravi Bishnoi and Kartik Tyagi were born after he had made his Test debut, he starts laughing.
“It seems that you are trying to make me realize that I am too old but on a serious note if you see I started when Mohammed Azharuddin was the India captain. It has been a brilliant journey, full of ups and down and I am grateful to God that I could live my dream for over two decades,” Harbhajan said.
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