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Bhajji looking for a rich haul in Lanka

The off-spinner stated that his philosophy is to attack the batsmen and go for the wickets.
PTI | By Press Trust of India, Dambulla
PUBLISHED ON AUG 02, 2005 03:09 PM IST

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who walked off the park with credit after India's first game in the triangular cricket series against Sri Lanka, is hoping to return home with a rich haul of wickets from the trip.

But the bowler is aware of the daunting task at hand as the Sri Lankans are tough customers in their own backyard.

"They (Sri Lanka) have a lot of batters who play spin very well. Their bowling is also very good and varied. They known their conditions perfectly and the crowd is always behind them. It's not easy to get past them," said Harbhajan.

"Since they play spin well, it is always challenging to bowl at them. But I have always done well here. I hope to return with most wickets from this trip."

The player from Punjab, who had a fairly good outing even though India lost the match by three wickets last night, also revealed how to become successful in one-dayers.

"My philosophy is to attack the batsmen, be it Tests or one-dayers, I am always trying to take wickets. If I bowl with a defensive mindset, then I would go for runs also and there would also be no entry in the wicket's column," said Harbhajan, who first contributed a handy unbeaten 20 runs with the bat and later chipped in with two wickets.

He said it is never easy to bowl to Sri Lankan batsmen as they have got used to quality spin playing along with Muthiah Muralitharan all these years.

"They are all stylish batsmen who play well because Murali is in their ranks. When I bowl to Sri Lankan batsmen I bowl with a specific plan. I try to dry them out for runs and then they make mistakes.

"If the bowlers take early wickets, you have three or four wickets in the first 15 overs, then the batsmen are in trouble. That's why I am a firm believer in looking for wickets in one-day cricket."

Harbhajan has a great deal of respect for Anil Kumble but says it is not necessary that a team needs good spinners from both the ends to keep pressure on the batsmen.

"Kumble is a big bowler, he has done so much for the country. But it's not as if you need spinners from both ends to build up pressure on the batsmen.

"It's a matter of combination, it could be between two spinners, two pacers or a spinner and a pacer. It is a good combination which builds up pressure on the batsmen."

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