England in India 2012-13

Don't judge bowler only by wickets count - Harbhajan

ESPNcricinfo staff

November 5, 2012

Comments: 109 | Text size: A | A

Was expecting Raina to be picked - Prasad

  • Venkatesh Prasad, the Uttar Pradesh coach, was disappointed when he found out that Suresh Raina had been left out of the India Test squad. "I was expecting him to be picked," Prasad said. "He led the team superbly against Delhi." Prasad said that the news of the team selection had no effect on the UP dressing room. "That's not the way we work - for us the most important thing was to focus on was what was happening in the middle in our match. We couldn't have played like we did had we been thinking about something else. See the time Raina had spent in the middle." Prasad said Raina had batted "brilliantly" in both innings. "He was positive in the second innings when they kept bowling outside off stump to a 7-2 field. He has had an excellent match - it is unfortunate to hear that he didn't get picked." Raina left the ground immediately after the match and was not available for comment

Harbhajan Singh, the India offspinner who was recalled to the Test squad on Monday, has hit out at his critics, and also declared that he has "evolved" as a cricketer during his year out of the team.

"A good bowler should not be only judged by his wickets count, his skillful bowling methods should also be taken into account," Harbhajan told PTI in Mohali. "His (a spinner's) role changes according to the wicket. Some people who have not played cricket themselves have been writing crap stuff about me."

Harbhajan was a permanent member of India's Test squad for several years before he was left out for the tour of Australia late last year, leaving him with 98 Test caps. "It would be nice to complete 100 Test matches, I just can't wait to get into whites for India against England."

While Harbhajan hasn't taken loads of wickets on the first-class circuit after being dropped, he said he had improved as a cricketer. "During the time I was out of the Indian team I got time to work on different aspects of the game. I captained Punjab team and also the Mumbai Indians. I think I have become a good listener and can handle things on the field in a better way."

India's captain MS Dhoni has repeatedly called for turning tracks for home series, and Harbhajan also hoped the pitches would assist spinners. "The wickets should have everything for everyone. When Dhoni says that he has not seen any spinner getting the ball bounce in the rib cage area of the batsman in the recent past, I agree with him.

"I would love to bowl on a wicket which has both turn and bounce, so that I can also bowl in the rib area of the batsman from outside the off stump."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (November 7, 2012, 15:22 GMT)

Agree with @S.Jagernath. Ishant and Bhajji are lucky to be included in India's test side. Both have been wicketless for so long that it isn't even funny. Instead of Ishant, they should have selected Pankaj Singh or Imtiaz Ahmed. Similarly they should try a young spinner like Iqbal Abdulla or Aparajith in place of Bhajji. 10dulkars days are numbered. If he does not score in the first 2 tests, he will be dropped.

Posted by S.Jagernath on (November 7, 2012, 9:32 GMT)

Harbhajan Singh's comment makes no sense & his skillful bowling methods were gladly received by England at Lord's & Trent Bridge.Venkatesh Prasad needs to listen to himself,Suresh Raina's technique is horrifying,I wonder if Prasad saw him ducking & diving at Trent Bridge & Edgbaston & getting mesmerized by Graeme Swann at The Oval.Virender Sehwag's plea to bat in the middle order needs to be considered & if Vijay happens to be the player to succeed as an opener,then so be it.Ajinkya Rahane will have to wait for Sachin Tendulkar retire.Tendulkar is ageing but hasn't done that badly,still averages 40 from the start of the England tour to now.Ishant Sharma & Harbhajan are very lucky to be selected.

Posted by vikash_speaks on (November 7, 2012, 7:59 GMT)

Agree to Valavan!! Kumble was the support for Harbhajan taking so many wickets. Bhajji has already declared what will be his fate in the Test Matches as he will in all probability not get enough wickets. The way he has bowled in last 4 years shows he is nowhere near to be palying international cricket. Also, what does he mean by people who have not played cricket. Playing international/domestic cricket only justifies if someone has played cricket. It's the talent/understanding that counts. It's nt necessary that if someone who has not represented in International/Domestic features do not know anything about cricket. Anyways!!! since we love India and Indian Cricket, we will love to see he performs well. I believe Cricketers should also focus on improving their game rather than trying to prove a point by giving lame excuses. A bowler role is to try and pick 20 wickets of the opposite team in Test Matches. Bhajji, containing runs is also not a cup of tea for u.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (November 7, 2012, 5:07 GMT)

If a bowler is not to be judged by wickets,he can be judged by other important factors like 1)garment size 2)no. of fb followers 3)no. of matches one goes wicketless etc

Posted by Sunnyside2711 on (November 7, 2012, 2:39 GMT)

Bhajji is a very good bowler and potentially India's best spinner. But he has to overcome his urge to bowl flat once the batsman starts to attack him. We have seen time and again that he is a different bowler when he flights the bowl and get it to dip, bounce and turn. A case in example would be the T20 against England in the T20 wc. But he has to sustain it like he used to do against the marauding Matt hayden & Co in 2001. If he does that he is a better bowler than Ashwin. And saying that a bowler should not be judged by the number of wickets is telling a batsman should not be judged by the number of runs or a student by the number of marks he scores :-)

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (November 7, 2012, 0:08 GMT)

I don't understand why Prasad is batting for Raina. Raina has been around for 7 years now. He had plenty of opportunities to cement his place. As a former test bowler, Prasad should be vouching for his bowlers, especially Imtiaz Ahmed. UP would have never defeated Delhi without Imtiaz's 9 wicket haul. Another bowler who deserves a place in the Indian team is Pankaj Singh of Rajasthan.

Posted by   on (November 6, 2012, 18:08 GMT)

This is similar to batsman saying he is looking good at crease and his technique is fine but not getting runs and claim that its matter of time before he gets runs.Any one will take runs over looking good at crease for short duration and getting out for low scores.Similarly bhajji we take wickets over your skillful bowling methods.So please stop your personal evaluation of skills and let your performances determine your skills.You are damn lucky that you got selected in squad and hopefully not in x1.

Posted by Rahul17_1983 on (November 6, 2012, 14:32 GMT)

Then on wat basis the bowlers will be selected in team?Please somebody ask this question as well to him .Until and unless we get out of denial mode and don't accept our fault and give lame excuses we cannot move ahead.Batsman is their to score runs and bowlers are there to take wickets and contain runs.If you don't do it u r out.It simple..

Posted by Naikan on (November 6, 2012, 14:27 GMT)

While I like Bhajji a lot and even feel that due to the media pressure he did not evolve completely - both as a bowler and as a batsmen, he cannot be serious of what he is saying - especially for test cricket. While his statment holds true for one day and T20, it is ridiculous of him to expect that one can win a test match or even draw it with this approach. It may be OK in match or two to play the role of a bowler who ties one end up, but that is useful only if somebody in the team is taking wickets. I also get cheesed by cricketers who make these absurd comments about not having played cricket. The cricketers would not be anywhere if not for the fans and the media. Also, getting to play cricket at test level in India is matter of chance or a host of other reasons, and those who get to play it should just be grateful that they get to do it - no matter if their bowling average over the last two years is hovering around 40 like Bhajji's or Ishant's.

Posted by Kalaiarasan8357 on (November 6, 2012, 14:25 GMT)

Then play street cricket..why do u wanna play for india...show ur skill....means show in taking wickets...not in media...

Posted by Biggest_Cricket_Fan on (November 6, 2012, 14:19 GMT)

Not sure how shall we react to Harbhajan's comment here. If bowler should not be judged by the wickets then what it should be judged by. May be shall we judge the bowler only by the way he reacts on the field (i.e. sledging) then I think Shrishanth would make the best bowler in the world. Bhajji needs to go home and do some soul searching and thank God for being selected in the team and stop making comments like these. I think thanks to some of the bad policies of the board and selection committee, players like Bhajji, Sehwag, Gambhir and even Tendulkar are still in the team. If they can not make way to new players, someone needs to show them the exit door.

Posted by Naikan on (November 6, 2012, 14:08 GMT)

While I like Bhajji a lot and even feel that due to the media pressure he did not evolve completely - both as a bowler and as a batsmen, he cannot be serious of what he is saying - especially for test cricket. While his statment holds true for one day and T20, it is ridiculous of him to expect that one can win a test match or even draw it with this approach. It may be OK in match or two to play the role of a bowler who ties one end up, but that is useful only if somebody in the team is taking wickets. I also get cheesed by cricketers who make these absurd comments about not having played cricket. The cricketers would not be anywhere if not for the fans and the media. Also, getting to play cricket at test level in India is matter of chance or a host of other reasons, and those who get to play it should just be grateful that they get to do it - no matter if their bowling average over the last two years is hovering around 40 like Bhajji's or Ishant's.

Posted by Valavan on (November 6, 2012, 13:45 GMT)

@IndianFans, its really funny how you go at Harbhajan, believe me guys harbhajan got wickets purely because Kumble who attack on one end, so the batters feel the pressure and cut loose during the bowling of harbhajan, once kumble retired, batters never felt the pressure, all world knows bhajan's mouth is bigger than team India, slapping sreesanth, annoying matty hayden, symonds saga, now its his time, nevertheless EMPTY VESSELS MAKE MORE NOISE, thats what is happening now. anyway as an England fan, wish India good luck. cricinfo please publish.

Posted by akasavani on (November 6, 2012, 13:12 GMT)

really? don't judge a bowler by the wickets he takes? well let's go by good looks then. ridiculous!

Posted by GRVJPR on (November 6, 2012, 13:11 GMT)

At least Bhajji does not bend his elbow like Ajmal. Honest performers are awlays disrespected in India. What a Shame?

Posted by royalg on (November 6, 2012, 13:10 GMT)

Bhaj just compare yourself with graeme swann who is a classical offspinner who bowls in cold English conditions and gets wickets by flighting and beating batsman on both edges of the bat know tats SKILL, but u bowling flat darts around the wicket to batsman aint gonna get u many wickets. You dn realise how lucky you are to be back in this test squad, make the most of ur oppertunity,

Posted by pranay_bangalore on (November 6, 2012, 13:06 GMT)

If that is the norm, i should have also been picked in the test team. I too haven't picked any wickets. So is 100 crore indian population. why only benefits to bhajji...

This guy was a free passenger in the team for years without performing, almost single-handedly screwed Indian spin bowling. Shame on selectors succumbing to some unknown pressure(read seniors) and getting this non performing liability into team once again

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (November 6, 2012, 12:51 GMT)

This is so ridiculous, it ain't even funny. Don't judge a bowler by his wickets and don't judge a batsman by his runs. Then what's the role of a bowler in a team - as a cheerleader? I guess Bhajji wants to think of himself as 10dulkar of bowling. He means to say - think of what I did for India 10 years ago and disregard my flop show in last 2 years. If you can treat 10dulkar like that, why not me? After all, I am also a Mumbai Indian.

Posted by   on (November 6, 2012, 12:47 GMT)

Don't judge bowler only by wickets count - Harbhajan I couldn't stop laughing reading the title. Don't judge batsmen only by runs count - Rohit????? lOl..... Yeah true the Harbhajan rules should by considered by the Selection Committee i cannot stop laughing.....

Posted by Harpreet on (November 6, 2012, 12:46 GMT)

With all due respects to Ashwin, He too didn't take wkts in Australia. I hv said it in the past n I will say this now too ...... If you really wanna know who is better? Play them both on same pitch against same opposition only then we will have real answer. Its not affair if people are judging 2 spinners based on their performance (1 in swinging conditions in Eng n other in spinning conditions in Ind). BTW, India lost in Aus because Ponting scored a lot in that series n whom were we missing to stop him?

Posted by rajesh_singhSTM on (November 6, 2012, 12:39 GMT)

I am bit confused here. Ever since I started following cricket, I was under impression that bowlers main role was to take WICKETS. If a bowlers was not taking wickets and was being battered black and blue by international as well as local players, I was under assumption he would be dropped and replaced by a bowlers who took wickets. That I assumed was the norm. Perhaps my understanding of cricket is not enough since I have played only college level cricket but I certainly did not know that if the your main spinner was not spinning the ball and not taking wickets , he was still a good bowler because he had variations and he darted ball perfectly. THe pure fact and obviously it goes without saying that Bhaji has used his contacts and money to get into team. For god sake even U-19 bowlers like Harmeet and Aparajith spinned and flighted the ball on swing helpful tracks and picket up wickets. Even in Ranji spinners have picked up lot of wickets while Bhaji gets THRASHED as usual.

Posted by Hardy_1984 on (November 6, 2012, 12:35 GMT)

@srinideva your meaning is whoever is called fighter he will have to go WWE and prove hez fighter..what a thinking you have ... Don't you guys understand hez not new in the cricket ..if you agree Mr. Anil kumble is legend for indian cricket he played maximum match with him. Give some respect guy's. if you forgot he played 98 test and took 406 wickets he doesn't need to prove anything. Only mistake he has done he gave such these type of statement to media and you people get chance to comment on it..Shameful..Take Dhoni..what is his performance, take Raina he even don't know how to play short ball. If you take out stats for Harbhajan has won so many matches for india. If he didn't play well for sure he will not be selected again. So, why you people are so negative against him. Took the Sachin stats what he did in OZ and Eng series ?? anybody have answer ?? 8 Innings ? only thing he didn't speak in the media ..

Posted by Big3BOSS on (November 6, 2012, 12:16 GMT)

This comment of Bhaji tells it all. He FORGETs that main job of bowlers is to TAKE WICKETS. That is what wins the team matches. And because he has not been spinning the bowl and not been taking wickets our record is to bad in last few series. As long as Kumble was there he was taking wickets and winning matches and Harbhajan was feeding on Kumbles efforts.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (November 6, 2012, 12:13 GMT)

There was a substandard bowler called harbhajan who doesnt even feature in the playing 11 but asks for turning wicket with even bounce. Lolz

Posted by kowalski on (November 6, 2012, 11:56 GMT)

Oh Is this the reason Rohit sharma is always in the team?!

Posted by DaisonGarvasis on (November 6, 2012, 11:40 GMT)

If the bowler is not rated on the wickets taken, then what should he be rated on?on your speaking ability? Or on how good a friend you are with some Seniors in the team? If you are in the team as a BOWLER, your job is to TAKE WICKETS. And if you cant take wickets, you will be replaced. Team India is not your Private Property!

Posted by Prakmca on (November 6, 2012, 11:13 GMT)

Hey Harbajan what the special skill you are having? Picking NO WICKETS is your special skill......First stop giving these type of interviews to media.....

Posted by gsingh7 on (November 6, 2012, 11:10 GMT)


Posted by Naresh28 on (November 6, 2012, 11:10 GMT)


Posted by srinideva on (November 6, 2012, 10:38 GMT)

The peoples who are saying he is a fighter, better for him to get A WWE contract. So he can fight all day.... How is this one? WM29: Bhaji vs Undertaker....

Posted by srinideva on (November 6, 2012, 10:32 GMT)

@bluebillion, his role in the team is to take wickets not scoring centuries...By thee way if he feels he can bat better than our non performing openers who didn`t score a century for 2 years or so..He may try for that role..I`ll support him...

Posted by test_cricket_is_real_cricket on (November 6, 2012, 10:26 GMT)

i dont think anyone who has commented on bhajji's statement below has taken even 1 test wicket, let alone 400... so when it comes to bowling, take harbhajan's word over yours... moreover, its high time we saw some classical off-spin, harbhajan vs swann... no offence to ashwin, but lets face it, he is just not good enough...

Posted by   on (November 6, 2012, 10:15 GMT)

Bhajji..then how can we judge bowlers...taking wickets once in 20 matches and ROAR like conquered Everest....i think u are kidding

Posted by   on (November 6, 2012, 10:13 GMT)

A good bowler should not be only judged by his wickets count, this shows how confident he is taking wickets. If you cant take wickets then what the hell is your skill in test cricket. And to speak about cricket people need not require to play cricket. If it is what would you say about "Harsha". Is he not capable to speak about you. You are very very very lucky to be selected in the squad and its bad luck to India. Im sure you will not be in playing 11 anyday. you are nowhere near there.

Posted by ooper_cut on (November 6, 2012, 10:07 GMT)

Once he heard that he was selected, his skills are back, he took 3 wickets to win the match for Punjab.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (November 6, 2012, 9:56 GMT)

Harbhajan makes it sound as though he is a Legend like Kumble or Warne or Murali. Does he ever learn how to shut and perform?

Posted by chaituaddanki on (November 6, 2012, 9:38 GMT)

Guys its enough,whether you people remember or not,Sehwag was in same Situation when he was not in the probables of Austrailian tour 07-08 and the result is history.Harbhajan will be back with bang in all formats of the game.

Posted by SudharsanVM on (November 6, 2012, 9:27 GMT)

wil bhajji be selected for first test in playing XI? even if so, will he be effective?

Posted by Alexk400 on (November 6, 2012, 9:23 GMT)

i am not sure Ojha or ashwin better or even spin more than harbhajan singh. Bhaji was mediocre for long . So anyone even come close to that mediocre we are ok. Ojha and Ashwin no better against top level team. In India mediocrity is the skill.

Posted by Gozunder on (November 6, 2012, 8:28 GMT)

Bhajji...the greatest non-performing spinner in World Cricket. He'll give Bryce McGain a run for his money pretty soon.

Posted by guppys_classmate on (November 6, 2012, 8:18 GMT)

The how else a bowler should be judged? How well he runs in?? Or How well he cuts his hair???

Posted by moBlue on (November 6, 2012, 8:07 GMT)

i don't know about how well bhajji bowls nowadays, and his "form" kept slipping alarmingly before he was dropped from tests, but i dare say bhajji at home in 2001 against AUS was lethal! ...with turn, bounce and accuracy, and a relentless attacking mind-set! ponting didn't become bhajji's meek bunny in that series for nothing!!! ashwin and ojha have never impressed me in the same way! ashwin seems like a paper tiger who is punching well above his weight so far, but class batsmen will figure him out. if bhajji plays as craftily - and with self-confidence - as he did in 2001, he would easily be my #1 pick among the 3 spinners in the squad! this is ENG after all, who are generally abject against attacking spin bowling on helpful wickets. so give bhajji a helpful wicket, throw him the ball early, dhoni, and give him a chance to build up his self-confidence for tougher battles ahead! be bold and leave ashwin out of the playing 11! he is useless in the long-term for the test team!!!

Posted by faizh on (November 6, 2012, 8:03 GMT)

If a bowler is not judged on wickets, then how do you judge the bowler? By oohs and aaahs? Harbhajan is a spent force and he does not have what it takes to be international caliber spin bowler. He is not a big spinner of the ball and his length is no mare what it used to be for test cricket. T20 he is good enough and thats what he should focus on. India has missed a trick with him. What I saw against Pakistan, English batsman cannot play spin, they should have selected spinners who can actually spin the ball.

Posted by   on (November 6, 2012, 8:00 GMT)

If we don't judge bowler only by wickets count then we Shouldn't judge a batsman according to his ability of scoring runs.

Posted by   on (November 6, 2012, 7:56 GMT)

Bhajji is ttying to promote himself.a fellow who pitches his off spinners on the leg stump and gets hit expects he should be selected on his bowling merits sans wickets! As Sanjay Manjrekar has said he is extremely fortunate to be in the test squad without any performance to back up.He should shut up and retire . Kalyan

Posted by bluebillion on (November 6, 2012, 7:55 GMT)

To all Bhajji haters - he saved India from humiliation in the home series against NZ in 2010. He took wickets and scored runs. He is a true fighter and brings the spirit that is lacking from this current side.

Posted by grizzle on (November 6, 2012, 7:24 GMT)

Doesn't matter who India play with, IMO. They are all mediocre spinners and have equal chances of doing well on spinning tracks at home. Additionally, they will all be rubbish abroad. (I only pity Ojha, since I don't think he is getting the opportunities that Ashwin and Bhajji have gotten, especially abroad.)

Posted by RD36 on (November 6, 2012, 7:03 GMT)

Don't see the point in selecting him in the squad. He's unlikely to make the starting XI, would have been much better to get some young spinner in, give him a feel of the Indian dressing room. Even if India play with two spinners, which they are likely to,Ashwin and Ojha are the natural choices, considering their recent performances.

Posted by SanjivAwesome on (November 6, 2012, 6:46 GMT)

I have long posted that Harbhajan is a non-spinning spinner. I was wrong, fellow cricinfo fans. On his own admission, Harbhajan is a non-wicket-taking spinner.

Posted by   on (November 6, 2012, 6:41 GMT)

Well it's a shame people calling that their dog can bowl better then harbhajan singh.... He is a real fighter and he proved it again!! Please respect those who made INDIA proud ... go them them paaji, India loves you

Posted by   on (November 6, 2012, 6:25 GMT)

Bhajji must thank his stars to have made it to the Test team this time around. Why does he even talk things that have no bearing. Individual performances are judged solely on results! His job is to take wickets just a batsmen's job is to score runs. Skill and style is appreciated when the 'job' is done. Isn't Rohit Sharma 'skilled' too? But he wasn't scoring - it's as simple as that and therefore did not merit a place in the team! The best for Bhajji is to quit theT20 and one dayer formats of the game and concentrate solely on Test Cricket and Ranji matches. That would do the team a world of good!!

Posted by cric_fan123 on (November 6, 2012, 6:23 GMT)

This article made my day. ROFLMAO. Seriously?! So then batsmen shouldn't be judged by the number of runs they score rather the skillful way they score? Chris Martin will surely like to think so. haha. I thought only English players were out of their mind giving interviews. Pls keep publishing interviews of Indian players, its really funny.

Posted by AllInFairNess on (November 6, 2012, 6:23 GMT)

Funny sardar, judge by what "how many runs conceded" or "how ineffective"

Posted by Rahul_78 on (November 6, 2012, 6:15 GMT)

I guess what Bhajji is trying to say is basically if there is a batsmen who can play picture perfect cover drive and then get out for below par score then one should admire his skillful batting and pardon him for his low scores. Frankly doesnt make much sense.

Posted by BrianCharlesVivek on (November 6, 2012, 6:09 GMT)

This is not only Harbajan's problem, this is a national problem. Being mediocre, promoting and defending it . Of course he ll take wickets in turning tracks and his words would be justified as well. But first let s see if he makes the 11.

Posted by bipulkumar on (November 6, 2012, 6:05 GMT)

Bhajji should understand that he is talking about test cricket and not T20. 20 overs 45 runs 0 wicket doesn't mean anything in test cricket, it is read as 45 without loss.

Posted by   on (November 6, 2012, 6:04 GMT)

All these days Bhajji was quoting the number of wickets he has taken in past to defend his selection . Now that he has stopped taking wickets he expects us to believe that his bowling is skillful,if that is the case should it not be translating to wickets..With the new selection committee i was hopeful they would go on pure performance and not on past glory..however it looks like Old wine in new bottle..

Posted by sharidas on (November 6, 2012, 6:02 GMT)

One thing I have to admit , is that Harbhajan is a fighter all the way. I wish him luck and I do believe, that he will deliver.

Posted by xylo on (November 6, 2012, 6:02 GMT)

When a huge chunk of the side has to defend their place in the team - Gambhir, Sehwag, Tendulkar, Harbhajan, the appalling state of affairs is pretty evident.

Posted by dhoni_sachin_fan on (November 6, 2012, 5:56 GMT)

Really Bhajji? Now one understands why you skillfully bowl out 40 overs, none for 95 in a test innings. Your 'skillful' bowling has only got you maiden overs not wickets. It is 20 WICKETS that win you a test match, not an economy of 2.5

Posted by sony_sr on (November 6, 2012, 5:47 GMT)

Good joke by harbhajan :) I hope he is just included to complete 100 tests and dropped after that. We seriously need to move on from harbhajan and zaheer.

Posted by Sanawana on (November 6, 2012, 5:39 GMT)

I'm always impressed with Raina's aggression whenever he's played against Pakistan in One Days and being a Pak fan I'm afraid of his presence in Indian One day team but he's not a test match material so a good decision by India and the reason I think he's not a test material is that he put's pressure with his aggression in one day and he'll hit you for a six on a ball which should be given some respect; these things won't put pressure on the opposition in test.

Posted by Riderstorm on (November 6, 2012, 5:33 GMT)

There is so much wrong in what harbhajan has pointed out. I'd rather prefer if he'd make full use of the opportunity he has had since a long time in test format to show that he's still among the best instead of using his mouthing skills.

Posted by   on (November 6, 2012, 5:13 GMT)

Wow, Bhaji hits back....at his own foot? What kind of comical statement is that: "A good bowler should not be only judged by his wickets count, his skillful bowling methods should also be taken into account." So now a bowler is not supposed to take wickets? And be judged via his skillful bowling? Skillful bowling results in wickets. So if you don't get wickets over a period of time, then your skills are not at par to play test cricket. Bhaji, my friend, you served us well. Your time is over. Go back to city grade cricket.

Posted by Pacelikefire_Samrat on (November 6, 2012, 5:13 GMT)

Before hitting out at ur critics,u should have done some soul searching?On what basis were u picked in the side to play against England?After lack lustre performances finally after what felt like a lifetime u were dropped.Having played in the ranji's u havent done anything significant and yet u find urself back in the side and yet again shooting ur mouth off?What else can guys like Manoj Tiwary and Rahane do to merit a place in the final 11 when we have guys like you clinging to the team as if u own it?Once again we will be subject to the drudgery of watching you bowl round the wicket with a flat trajectory aimed at leg stump?Ofcourse you will take a wicket maybe that of Finn or Anderson and you will exult as if you have won the match for us.In the press conference Dhoni is gonna come out all smiles saying that you have won the match for us.Team India!Where are you heading?

Posted by   on (November 6, 2012, 5:10 GMT)

More than skill attitude counts. Harbhajan had displayed petulant attitude when he could not pick wickets and left the tour midway on the guise of an injury. No one is greater than the game and it would stand in him good stead to understand that. When you play for India do not take your place in the team for granted approach it with the commitment that a Sachin has displayed over two decades.

Posted by ListenToMe on (November 6, 2012, 5:00 GMT)

Either Harbhajan is talking about ODI or I think he is a fool. In ODIs it is OK for a bowler not to take wickets if he can reduce the run rate of the batting team. But in tests what is the use of a bowler who can't take wickets?

Posted by Y2SJ on (November 6, 2012, 4:47 GMT)

Stupid decision to take Harbhajan in. He has not proved to imprve his bowling. Dhoni's favouritism is ruining the team

Posted by GRVJPR on (November 6, 2012, 4:46 GMT)

Indian Domestic Players are better Players of Spin than England. Bhajji will take quite a few 5 wicket hauls in this series.

Posted by GRVJPR on (November 6, 2012, 4:45 GMT)

Ever Since MS Dhoni has been made a captain of this side the bowlers have lost their confidence. Dhoni don't give them attacking fields and then blame them that they don't pick wickets. Even on a grassy track at South Africa , Bhajji took 4 wickets and Sooth Africa was in trouble at 25-4. India could have won that match and series, but dhoni didn't allow Bhajji to bowl again even though he took all those wickets

Posted by sandeepgla on (November 6, 2012, 4:16 GMT)

My pet "Moti" can bowl better than harbhajan singh with his tale.

Posted by timtom on (November 6, 2012, 4:13 GMT)

Bhajji Sir.....bowlers job is to take wickets alone which you have failed since Kumbles retirement. Kumble would have 850 test wickets had he continued playing..he still looks much younger..with current form Bhajji will not get wickets even in turning pitches. That bad is how bowling looks. Does not bowl 4 overs in ipl in fear of getting hit..actually selectors are giving him a chance to complete 100 testes and then it wud be over for bhaji with hope that others wud do good job...

Posted by Edassery on (November 6, 2012, 3:31 GMT)

...and a ROFLMAO for Venkatesh Prasad for his comment on Raina!

Posted by Edassery on (November 6, 2012, 3:28 GMT)

"A good bowler should not be only judged by his wickets count". Someone should remind Bajji on his comeback that IT IS the wickets that matter in test cricket. The team needs the bowling strength that can take 20 wickets in a match and if one main bowler thinks that he can bowl strategically without taking wickets then he's a fool.

Posted by joseyesu on (November 6, 2012, 3:27 GMT)

Only getting wickets are going to win the matches for ind in test. Yeah Raina has led beautifully against Delhi, Raina has spent time in the middle, Positive, had excellent match but yuvraj is preferred purely because of his comeback records. 200+ 5+ wickets in the given opportunity. It is just a team for 2 matches. Let's see

Posted by sshadab on (November 6, 2012, 3:26 GMT)

With all due respect, Bhajji is past his shelf-life and so are a few other players in our line up. He might take a wicket or 2 in a few matches, but that does not bode well for us. I would rather have given Harmeet, Negi, Iqbal Abdullah the chance, as they are the future stars. He said he spent his time away working on different aspects of the game, Bhajji you need not do that, you should have actually spent time honing your existing skills where you lost your mojo. The other thing i noticed is that Bhajji always talks whenever he performs, something which is/was rare in the last 2 years, so in case he gets a chance to play and lets say he takes a 3 wicket on a rank turner, watch out for his press conference the next day, will make up for some interesting listening / reading.

Posted by Vasi-Koosi on (November 6, 2012, 3:24 GMT)

Bajji cannot say people were writing crap about him, if that was the case he would not have been dropped. A critic is someone who says you are good, when you are and bad other times. He is also someone who sees chinks in the armory, which a normal person cannot. He does not need to play cricket to do this, he needs to be a good follower of the game. We have selectors, administrators, coaches who have not played the game at the highest level, however they have been effective, when they have followed the game closely. Bajji needs to have a little bit more humility, he is in the squad; not in the team yet. I really do not see him as part of the playing 11. Ashwin has been in Superb form and his confidence is just oozing; Ojha has been a very good partner. He might be the active bowler with the most number of wickets, but he does not impress most folks.

Posted by RufusTFirefly on (November 6, 2012, 3:16 GMT)

As much as I admire Bhaji for what he has done - teams should be picked on form. Who are the best XI players in India? Who are the best spinners? I think Ashwin is bowling well and his form with the bat is solid. He also has a great attitude.

Posted by sawifan on (November 6, 2012, 3:14 GMT)

as an Aussie, i have always respected Harbhajan (despite the Symonds fiasco), but why are these older Indian players lashing out like this (Gambhir...)? It's not very becoming, and it means nothing if not backed up with results. I hope he can do it, but it'd mean more if he did it with his mouth shut. Good luck tho, when on song, one of the best bowlers, let alone spinners around.

Posted by wolf777 on (November 6, 2012, 3:02 GMT)

Why 'skillful bowling methods' don't translate into wickets? If bowl crap, people will write 'crap stuff' about you...anyways there is no need for 3 off spinners in the playing eleven...counting Sehwag

Posted by sandy_bangalore on (November 6, 2012, 2:50 GMT)

Please, Please let him not be selected into the playing XI. He is way past it, and his arrogance is mind boggling.

Posted by .Raina on (November 6, 2012, 2:22 GMT)

Harbhajan, like Gambhir, has a bigger mouth than anything else to show for in terms of recent performances. Both created a place / name for themselves with their consistent performances in the earlier part of their careers, but in the last few years there attitude has been anything but sportsman-like. They had stopped working on their game long time back, grown arrogant, and have managed to stay in the team mainly because of their earlier history (& probably some connections). In any other team, they would have been dropped two years back. Again, instead of being thankful for the opportunity the great 'Turbunator' has been offered (even without any significant performances), he is coming out with his 'crap'. And he forgets that as a lead bowler, he is always expected to get wickets....and not the 'eggs' he has been picking up from the paddock for the last few years.

Posted by luckydibs on (November 6, 2012, 2:12 GMT)

Selections of Bhajji and Vijay is bad news for Indian cricket. It shows that different selection panel have different thoughts, because these people were not even selected for any of India A sides recently and that means that they were not good enough to be thought as India hopefuls. I would have prefered a Iqbal Abdullah or a Jalaj saxena coming through and playing for India rather than Bhajji. Regarding Vijay's case I would say that he is an extremely lucky guy, simply because I felt two other natural openers were ahead of him in the race like Shikhar Dhawan and Abhinav Mukund. They were the people who were either scoring runs or in Indian A team. Really feel sorry for those guys. Out of those two I feel Shikhar Dhawan should have been given the chance now, since he is running out of time as his age is catching up. Vijay and Bhajji should have worked out throughout this season in Ranji matches, and maybe should have been given a chance if they have done well in Ranji Matches.Wat say?

Posted by TJAPUKAI on (November 6, 2012, 1:31 GMT)

What a mess,the selectors did by selecting Bhajji. He is not able to take 1 five for long long time and now he is hitting at the experts who question his ability to take wickets.Now watch Ishant to join in the "hitting". He may come up with a statement "People who criticize me don't know what I did to greats like Ponting.Now give my bouncing track, I will take 5 wickets ".Very sorrowful to know that Selectors are going with people who lost their "Mojo" and not going with someone who is proving with bag full of wickets/runs in domestic arena.Shame on selectors :(

Posted by Thyagu5432 on (November 6, 2012, 1:15 GMT)

"A good bowler should not be only judged by his wickets count, his skillful bowling methods should also be taken into account". So what is he saying here? A batsman has to score runs and a bowler needs to take wickets. Being skillfull and taking wickets are mutually inclusive. Anyway, I think he is trying his psyching skills on the selectors. Even if he doesn't take wickets test after test, he should be in the team. Let us see if the selectors fall pray to his skillful psyching. In any case, I doubt if he will be in the playing 11 of any of the test matches unless Ashwin goofs up big time. Yuvi is in the team for his bowling too.

Posted by   on (November 6, 2012, 1:10 GMT)

harbhajan is better ashwin is good in t-20's and odis

Posted by Meety on (November 6, 2012, 0:48 GMT)

Whilst Ashwin has some good career stats, I don't think he is a fraction of the Turbanator in form. That is the question, is the Turbanator in form & has real desire? Or is he going thru the motions so he can sneak his 100 Tests? As an Ozzy I can't ever write him off, although he was dropped because he had lost "it", which was whatever loop he once had. I think a diet of too much limited over cricket (both forms), had him bowling flatter & a bit faster. He had a county stint, which I find commendable, & he starte getting wickets the longer he went. So I am thinking he maybe coming round. I would say the County stint suggests to me, that he has real desire to succeed in Tests again . IF he is bowling well, he is the MOST dangerous bowler India have.

Posted by   on (November 6, 2012, 0:24 GMT)

Harbhajan's role, if he gets into the playing XI will be: A BATSMAN at 9 to wield long handle. As a bowler: Ziltch! Do we need so many "batsmen"? If the first 6 can't get the runs, what can the next 3 do? Yes, they could do something to save a match, if a batsman like VVS guides them from the other end! Who is that VVS in this team?

Posted by maddy20 on (November 6, 2012, 0:21 GMT)

"The role od spinner depends on the requirement of the team". What on earth is that supposed to mean? In ODIs you may be able to win a game by restricting the runs, in test cricket you have to take wickets in atleast in Ranji, to stake a claim in the test SQUAD. Having said that Bhajji is a fighter and if the need arises we do not have a better replacement than him at the moment. He is a handy lower order batsman as well, so that might have just worked in his favor here.

Posted by   on (November 6, 2012, 0:18 GMT)

Lady luck has her favorite sons. Look at Bhajji. And look at guys like Raina, Irfan, Parthiv, Tiwari, etc

Posted by   on (November 6, 2012, 0:15 GMT)

Bhajji: Walk the talk; that is, if you get into the playing XI.

Spinning/Turning Track: Good for both the teams. Swan, Monty & Patel are as good as Ashwin, Bhajji & Ojha.

Swaan: Get ready for a few 5-fors in this series.

Posted by TheRisingTeam on (November 5, 2012, 23:39 GMT)

India has so much variety in their spin department. This is an interesting series because the last one against New Zealand was a no contest.

Posted by   on (November 5, 2012, 23:06 GMT)

Dhoni prefers Ashwin but Harbhajan is the better choice. He will find his way into the team.

Posted by mikey76 on (November 5, 2012, 22:33 GMT)

I hope the pitches turn and bounce too. Swann will have a field day.

Posted by hunksurat on (November 5, 2012, 22:20 GMT)

I am a big fan of Bhajji. I think though he needs to back his words with his actions. You do not have to be an cricket player to comment on somebodies performance just based on numbers. The fact is Bhajji is struggling to get wickets even against domestic level players. The argument that Indian players play spin well doesnt really count as other spinners are taking plenty wickets (check last years domestic stats). I think Bhajji needs to look at his earlier videos and see how he got so many wickets. More flight, more bounce and positive aggressive attitude. Good Bhajji....(I do not think he will be picked in the squad)

Posted by Unmesh_cric on (November 5, 2012, 22:03 GMT)

News flash for Bhajji: The wickets column IS important in Test cricket. The economy rate is important in T20 and ODI cricket. In limited overs cricket, as long as you keep the scoring rate down it may be okay. But in Test cricket you just CAN NOT win without taking 20 wickets! In ODIs and T20s, you can just take 3 wickets and still win. That option is not available in Test cricket. As somebody else pointed out, Bhajji is hitting back at critics,,but just with words and not with his performances. I am not a Bhajji hater, but Bhajji should realize that the first step towards improving as a player is to accept that you have a problem. He should realize that in last 2-3 years he was the front line spinner for India. His job was to take wickets in Test cricket; not to contain.

Posted by   on (November 5, 2012, 21:49 GMT)

‎"A good bowler should not be only judged by his wickets count, his skillful bowling methods should also be taken into account," Harbhajan told PTI in Mohali. "His (a spinner's) role changes according to the wicket. Some people who have not played cricket themselves have been writing crap stuff about me"

He should carry a printout of this and hand it to the opposition batsmen when they come to the crease... and if they continue to score against him they should be labeled as "people who have not played(enough) cricket" to understand "his skillful bowling methods" and have the acumen to gift their wickets as a mark of respect.

Today's players are increasingly getting fond of the mike than the bat and ball..

Posted by   on (November 5, 2012, 21:45 GMT)

Do you think Harbhajan will find himself in playing eleven? I dont think so. Where is the slot? Definitely Aswhin and Ohja will be first choice and I dont think Dhoni will risk out playing three spinners when people like Yuvaraj seems to be in good form with ball as well. Waiting for 100th test i guess he has to wait for a while. He is fortunate enough to be there in team. Selectors should have waited for some more time still i guess he is not in to wicket taking bowler, let his play some matches then come back with some wickets.

Posted by   on (November 5, 2012, 21:16 GMT)

He would not have said all this if he truly has analyzed his game over the last couple of years... He is more like a slow medium pace bowler with unnecessary aggression ... he is scared to flight the ball ... really feel sad for Ojha considering his talent poor fellow again will be at the receiving end...

Posted by Nampally on (November 5, 2012, 21:10 GMT)

Harbhajan is forgetting that a bowler's performance & form are judged by his wicket tally in various matches. If Bhaji is so poor that he cannot buy a wicket in the Ranji matches then he has no business to represent India in Tests. What is the basis of his selection? Ashwin & Ojha operated well in tandem against WI & NZ in the recent tests with huge wkt. tally. There should be justification for breaking this combo! Getting him in the squad is bad enough but It will be crazy if Bhaji replaces Ojha! Instead of hitting out at the Critics, why not get wickets & silence them. How will he get wkts. in Tests when he is so poor in Ranji? He talks about bowling in the rib area as though he has been doing it all his life. Only Indian spinners who could do this was Chandrashekar - Ghulam Ahmad & Jasu Patel before him. These guys took many wkts. in the leg trap. Bhaji never did & is incapable of with his action & pace.So stop dreaming!

Posted by samincolumbia on (November 5, 2012, 20:33 GMT)

Raina, Tiwary are better spin bowlers than Harbhajan.

Posted by   on (November 5, 2012, 20:18 GMT)

Harbhajan hits out at Critics - with words and not with actions - unfortunately. How much change has been brought in him in the last one year should be seen by what he does on the field and not by how well he can hit back at Critics. Bhajji - the whole of India loves a performing Harbhajan - not one who can talk the talk alone. So I would leave the talk to others and try to get wickets when people are watching.

Posted by   on (November 5, 2012, 19:49 GMT)

In whites ? Not so fast, dearie..

Posted by torsha on (November 5, 2012, 19:26 GMT)

Prasad is gone mad. Now everyone wants Raina to be in the team. Then why not take rest of the players too who are not selected? He wasn't going to support Badrinath or Manoj Tiwari, was he?

Posted by   on (November 5, 2012, 18:42 GMT)

Can't agree more with Harbhajan. Of all the wickets that fell in the Ranji Trophy game, only 6 were claimed by spinners. Bhajji took 3 of the 6, and 2 of the remaining ones went to Ojha - the other feather in the Indian cap. While, everyone seems to be pointing out a wicketless first inning for Bhajji, I haven't seen much talk about 2/201 from 50 overs performance by Ojha. We need a better definition of the word critics here - some old guys sitting in a chair experiencing partial dementia cannot be a critic. Critic needs to be Informed.

Posted by   on (November 5, 2012, 18:32 GMT)

Come on guys, he is 10th highest successful bowler in test cricket, still many years left in him, if all three spinners in team get chance on same ground he is still going to leave others two behind as he did to one of them in Mohali, stop comparing his performance out side of country with other two's in India. I agrree with him, who critisize him those said bat is made of Iron

Posted by   on (November 5, 2012, 18:12 GMT)

i guess ojha and ashwin should get the preference.

Posted by loke_cricfan on (November 5, 2012, 17:50 GMT)

Miss u Raina... Good for everything. If you have been selected, you would have been 12th man.. Got good chance to showcase your talent in Ranji.. All the best dear friend.

Posted by Narbavi on (November 5, 2012, 17:46 GMT)

Pls Bhajji, don't make us laugh now, so what you are saying is you expect the team management to pick you in the playing 11 straightaway ahead of Ashwin and Ojha?? As many experts pointed out, you are simply lucky even to be in the squad in the first place!!

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