Keen to prove a point on his comeback in the upcoming cricket Test against Bangladesh, senior off-spinner Harbhajan Singh said that his role in the Indian team is still “same as it used to be 5-7 years back” when he was the spearhead of the bowling attack.
“My role is same in the team as it was 5-7 years back. We need to work as a unit. All the four or bowlers need to back each other. When it comes to goal, it was same when I was playing alongside Anil Kumble and Amit Mishra. It is to help each other in winning games,” Harbhajan told mediapersons at the Open Session on the eve of team’s departure to Dhaka.
He has made a comeback after two years but when questioned about the difference from Harbhajan of the old, he quickly countered,”Can you see any difference? There is no difference.”
India’s third highest wicket-taker in Test cricket once again stressed that he always had the self-belief to make a comeback.
“Last two years, I have been out of the team but I always had that in my mind that I am going to make a comeback and obviously I have been bowling well whenever I have got the opportunities at whatever level I have played,. The comeback was always in my mind and that’s what I was playing cricket for,” the 34 year-old said.
“I have played in the IPL. I keep on meeting my seniors they keep on pushing me that I have got lot of cricket left in me. I am very happy that I have seniors, who have always been there for all of us. Its nice to be back in the side and hopefully I can contribute to the team’s success,” he added.
Asked about his partnership with Ravichandran Ashwin, the ‘Turbanator’ said,”Our main job is to win games for Team India and working and bowling with him will always be a good. Both of us are trying to win games for India. So we are going there as a team and as a team we need to push everyone together and in one direction to win the game.”
All praise for skipper Kohli
He made his Test debut under Mohammad Azharuddin and had subsequently played under leadership of Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Singh is of the opinion that young Virat Kohli brings in a lot of intent in his leadership skills.
“Virat is a match-winner. He is very competitive. Irrespective of who the opposition is, he wants to win, which is a great quality. Having him as a captain is a good thing. The intent is there to win the game and that’s what Virat Kohli brings on the table,” Harbhajan waxed eloquent about the Indian Test captain.
Having watched a bit of Kohli’s leadership from the sidelines, the seasoned off-spinner feels that his ability to stand for his team is a great thing.
“He (Kohli) is someone who is always there for the team. He wants to take up challenges and wants to win. Having a captain, who has so much of energy on the field and obviously his energy will rub onto others in the field. That’s a positive sign.”
The senior off-spinner also praised Kohli’s leadership in the two Test matches in Australia.
“The way the Indian team played in Australia was brilliant. Though we did not win the Test match. Whenever he bats or fields, he does it to win games. He does not mind losing one or two odd games to win (the series),” he concluded.