'I don't think there is too much cricket'
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'I don't think there is too much cricket'

Amidst all the debate on burn-out, Harbhajan Singh bowled a wrong-un, saying players who are worried about being consumed by too much cricket could opt for rest.

india Updated: May 09, 2006 20:14 IST

Amidst all the debate on burn-out, off-spinner Harbhajan Singh on Sunday bowled a wrong-un, saying players who are worried about being consumed by too much cricket could opt for rest.

The wily Punjab bowler said as far as he was concerned, no amount of cricket was too much as he loved the game and was all for playing it as much as possible.

"I don't mind playing as much cricket as possible because I love the game. In fact, I don't think there is too much cricket in BCCI's schedule in the current season. If any player feels it, he can always request the Board to give him rest," he told PTI in an exclusive interview.

Harbhajan, back in form after an indifferent tour of Pakistan, also pooh-poohed the much-talked about rotation of players.

"Instead of adopting a compulsory rotation policy, players should voluntarily ask for rest if they want so."

The 25-year-old distanced himself from the Ganguly-Chappell row, terming the episode as a "bad dream". "I want to look forward instead of peeping into the past," he said.

He also refused to compare Chappell with his predecessor John Wright, saying their styles of functioning were different.

"Both are great coaches and have different styles of coaching. Boys are comfortable with Chappell, who has brought glory for the team in recent tournaments through his and players' hard work."

Asked if there had been a change in the dressing room atmposphere after the advent of Chappell, Harbhajan said, "I don't want to comment on this."

The bowler appeared to have wisened from experience after he was hauled up by BCCI for his outburst against Chappell when his row with Ganguly was at its peak.

Harbhajan, who has taken 227 wickets from 55 Tests, felt India could do with a bowling coach in the build up to the World Cup.

"I don't mind (a bowling coach). If we get one, it will certainly be helpful for the team. But it is up to the team management to decide whether a bowling coach is required or not."

The first Indian to take a Test hat-trick, Harbhajan was upbeat about the upcoming tour of West Indies where India are scheduled to play five one-dayers and four Test matches.

"We have already started practising for it. The final strategy can be chalked out only after assessing the pitches and conditions in the host country.

"The series is very significant, especially in the light of the fact that West Indies would be hosting the World Cup next year. The tour would enable us to understand the wicket as well as the climatic conditions there in advance."

The 'Turbanator' said he would draw confidence from his last outing in the Caribbean when India won the one-day series while narrowly losing the Test rubber.

Harbhajan said West Indies batsmen were tough to tackle in home conditions, putting the onus on the bowlers to come good.

"West Indies' batting gets multiplied (in strength) when they play on their home ground. Under those circumstances, responsibility of bowlers also multiplies in the same measure."

Harbhajan said while Brian Lara was a known threat for bowlers worldwide, he considered Shivnarine Chanderpaul equally dangerous.

"Against India, Chanderpaul has always played well. He has the capability to change the course of the match singlehandedly."

Asked whether inclusion of another offspinner in Ramesh Powar put more pressure on him to perform, he said, "when I came on to the scene, there were several spinners but performance can always create permanent space for you in the team. Powar is a good bowler and I wish him a good luck."

About the role of spinners in the upcoming series, he said it would depend on the kind of wickets on which the matches would be played.

Revealing that he always plans his bowling according to the batsman in front of him, he said, "although, the basics remain the same, strategy changes from batsman to batsman and who plays how on a particular day."

First Published: May 07, 2006 15:55 IST