‘Bring it on’: Harbhajan Singh ready for battle of skills against ‘best in the business’
Harbhajan, who continues to play for the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, sure believes he is ahead of some of the best Indian cricket has to offer.Updated: Jul 18, 2020 00:16 IST
He may have last played for India four years ago but Harbhajan Singh is confident he can outshine some of the brightest spinners in the country in a battle of skills. Harbhajan, who continues to play for the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL and is the tournament’s third-highest wicket-taker behind Lasith Malinga and Amit Mishra, sure believes he is ahead of some of the best Indian cricket has to offer.
“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 told PTI. “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.”
Harbhajan has played 103 Tests, 236 ODIs and 28 T20Is for India, his last match for India coming in March of 2016 in the Asia Cup against the UAE. Behind Anil Kumble and Kapil Dev, Harbhajan is India’s third-highest wicket-taker in Tests with 417 wickets. Looking back at his India career, Harbhajan said he is grateful to have played for the country for the longest time.
“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. “You always feel that you can achieve more but you should always be grateful for the opportunities you got to achieve what you wanted to - that is win matches for your country.”
That said, the off-spinner admits he misses performing in pressure-situations that come with international cricket. “It’s funny you know. When I used to play, there would be days when I wouldn’t like that insane pressure where you are feted one day and brought down to earth on another day after one bad match. I didn’t like it back then but now when I am not playing cricket regularly, I miss that pressure,” he said.
“Everyone will tell you that they love challenges but when in the middle of an everyday grind, you start questioning yourself that why do I need to go through. But yes, sometimes, when I look back, there were a lot of days, I enjoyed that pressure that I have to win a match for India.”