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Harbhajan keen to do a Kumble

At 26, the Punjab bowler says he has age on his side and is willing to bide his time till he becomes an automatic choice in the playing eleven.

india Updated: Jan 20, 2007 19:55 IST

Being confined to the bench of late has not deterred feisty off-spinner Harbhajan Singh who says he is preparing himself to take the mantle of senior spinner from Anil Kumble once he retires from the game.

At 26, the Punjab bowler says he has age on his side and is willing to bide his time till he becomes an automatic choice in the playing eleven.

"Till 2003 I used to play all the Tests and unfortunately Anil Kumble had to sit out. I have great respect for him, I would like to see myself where he is today when I finish my cricket career," says the bowler.

"I have already got 240-odd wickets in Test cricket, and at my age not many people have achieved that. I am still 26 and I have age on my side.

"I am very much there and it's a big role. After two years, or whenever he quits the game, obviously I have to take a step forward, take on the responsibility," Harbhajan said.

Harbhajan said his career had been affected by an injury to his finger but it was wrong for people to expect him to take 30-odd wickets in every series.

"I got injured and it took me seven months or so to get back into the team. Things had changed - we won. We did well in Australia, Anil took lot of wickets. We did well in Pakistan.

"After that I came back, played my first game against Australia and I took 11 wickets in Bangalore, we lost that game. I was happy to make a comeback but we lost that series.

"Expectations had changed, people wanted me to take 32 wickets and that cannot happen," he said.

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