Harbhajan speaks to the media December 25, 2004

Harbhajan confident of clearing ICC tests

Harbhajan Singh: 'I'm not worried at all' © Getty Images

Harbhajan Singh, the spokesperson India nominated for the media session ahead of two back-to-back one-dayers against Bangladesh in Dhaka, exemplified the mood of the team - relaxed, composed and raring to go. Harbhajan was least bothered by the cloud hanging over suspicions of his action. "I'm not worried at all, I'm pretty confident that there is nothing wrong in it [his action]," he said. "Everyone is going through whatever tests they are going to take. From [Glenn] McGrath to [Muttiah] Muralitharan; it's more like a routine test. I'm very confident."

Cocky as ever, and happy to crack a joke or two, Harbhajan had the press in splits when he said, "Actually I'm looking forward to the test. It should be good. I've already taken 300-plus wickets in international cricket."

Harbhajan reiterated that the matter rested with the BCCI and that things would take their natural course. "I've spoken to the BCCI president and they will take the best step, whatever they have to do," he said, when asked what the way forward was. "If they want to send me somewhere they will send me otherwise they will sort out whatever it is in India."

Harbhajan admitted that he was saddened by the incident, but was keen to move on. "I do feel sad but you can't do anything about it if someone complains, but as long as you are confident that there is nothing wrong in your action, your bowling [then it'll work out fine].

"I'm fine and I'm going to be playing again and do the same sort of things again. If there is something wrong, I might have to change a bit in my action for it. Then I'm ready for it, let's see."

This is not the first time Harbhjan's action has come under the scanner, but the Indian team's reaction this time around has been refreshingly calm. "That time [when he was first reported in 1998] I was young and I didn't know what to do and I was very tense," said Harbhajan. "But our cricket board supported me very well at that time and I went to England and sorted out the problem in two days. This time I'm very confident, the whole team is with me, whole India is with me, so I don't have anything to worry. Hopefully with the grace of god, I will come out strong from this."

At the same time, Harbhajan refused to be drawn into conspiracy theories that it was only subcontinental bowlers were being targeted. "I don't know what it is ... [perhaps] because we all bowl the doosra. No-one from other countries seems to be bowling that ball. They are objecting to it [doosra]; they have it in their minds that you can't bowl the doosra without flex," said Harbhajan. "Let them test and hopefully they will come with the 15-degree (rule) and then everyone can bowl the doosra. They are checking fast bowlers as well, let's see how they come out with the solution."

Anand Vasu is assistant editor of Cricinfo.