For the longest time now, Harbhajan Singh has come under the scanner for being a shadow of the bowler who scalped 32 wickets in the three-Test series against Australia in 2001.
For too long now the zip and turn had been missing and gone was the stout heart that tossed the ball up even when punishment beckoned. Just when India needed it the most, Harbhajan turned in a strong performance taking 4 for 71 at Galle.
“It’s not turning that much. The odd ball is spinning. But if you bowl in the right areas and set the field accordingly, there are chances you can create,” Harbhajan said.
On his bowling, Harbhajan said: “The ball was drifting a bit. I tried to mix my pace, and that worked for me today.”
Although he was quite satisfied with his returns, Harbhajan remarked that there was still plenty to do. “We still have a long way to go. If we get one or two wickets in the morning tomorrow, we’ll be in a good position.
“This wicket is a little different, and I’m happy the way I bowled today, and I hope I bowl the same tomorrow and in the second innings.”
There was another spinner who also reaped rich rewards on Friday, and he was understandably happy with how things had gone. Ajantha Mendis, playing only his second Test, ended with figures of 6 for 117.
“I am very happy with my performance. I hope to continue performing similarly in the future,” said Mendis.
“I didn't have any big plans on how to bowl to Sehwag. I bowled the same way I bowled to others,” said Mendis of the double centurion. “Towards the latter part of his innings I was looking more towards controlling him rather than attacking.”