Harbhajan Singh said with a straight face that he was “very, very upset at not getting a century” given that this was his “best chance” to do so, leaving everyone else in splits. You can see where the optimism is coming from for Harbhajan now has five half-centuries in his last 16 Tests, starting with the famous Sydney Test of last January.
“Obviously it was crucial to contribute lower down the order. Now if we look at the score board we have got decent runs on the it,” said Harbhajan, returning to seriousness. “When I went in to bat probably it wasn’t the same. Thankfully me, Dhoni and Zaheer, Munaf and Ishant got 180 odd runs in the last session.”
The feisty offie took the pressure situation he walked into as a challenge to deliver.
“I knew and I had done it before. It was again a very good chance for me to go out there under pressure situation and deliver,” said Harbhajan. “Good for the team that Dhoni and I had a great partnership. Those were crucial runs and obviously it will help us in the game.”
Describing the pitch as a bit “two-paced” Harbhajan said that the team’s goal was not a certain number of runs but to bat out the first day and that was achieved. “We didn’t have any target in our mind but we were looking to bat the whole day. We achieved that target. Unfortunately we lost nine wickets, it would have been nice to get these runs losing just six or seven wicket. But we are very happy that we got runs on the board.”
Harbhajan took the chance to make a not-so-subtle point to his detractors.
“Most of the wickets in New Zealand don’t seem to be spinner-friendly. I will just go out there and give my best shot. I have bowled well in the one-day series and in the Test series so far though many people have been writing crap about me and that I am only good enough in India,” he said.
“I know what I have been doing, what is important for the team, what matters to the country. If I hit the right sort of areas I should be able to pick those crucial wickets for the team. It might not be five-six, but if it can help the team win I will be happy with that.”