Indian cricket June 28, 2008

'I've learnt from whatever has happened' - Harbhajan

Cricinfo staff

Harbhajan Singh trains for the upcoming Test series in Sri Lanka ©AFP
Harbhajan Singh says he is keen to make amends after the infamous "slapgate" incident involving Sreesanth, one that led to his suspension for a majority of the IPL season and a five-match ODI ban. The ban meant that he missed out on India's trip to Bangladesh for a tri-series as well as the ongoing Asia Cup.

"I've learnt a lot from whatever has happened in the last few months, and I can promise that I'll still play with a lot of passion," Harbhajan told NDTV, a television news channel. "I want to play that way [with passion] but I'll try to control my emotions and other things. I don't want my emotions to affect others or myself.

"I'm very passionate about my game and I love playing for my country," he said. "I get too involved. I want to win each and every game and I want to deliver in difficult situations. And then, when you get so involved, suddenly you don't realise what you're doing."

Separate hearings by the IPL organisers as well as a BCCI-appointed enquiry commissioner concluded that, on April 25, Harbhajan hit Sreesanth after his side, the Mumbai Indians, lost by 66 runs to Kings XI Punjab in Mohali.

Harhajan spoke about what the episode had taught him. "There are a lot of things I would have done differently. But we're human and we all make mistakes and we learn from them," he said. "If anger was helpful it would have solved a lot of problems. But at the end of the day, you have to think before you do things and take your time. I will learn that."

When asked about his stint as captain of the Mumbai team, when he stood-in for four games in Sachin Tendulkar's absence, he said: "One of the lessons I learnt was that you have to be very calm and control your emotions. You don't have to show your anger and frustration."

Harbhajan is currently in a training camp at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore and said he was gearing up for a possible return to the national Test squad. "I'm working hard on my game. It's nice to be back with the boys and training with them," he said. "I'm really enjoying my time here and I'm really looking forward to the Sri Lanka tour and getting back to playing again and doing well." The first Test of the three-match series begins in Colombo on July 23.

Viewers in India can watch Harbhajan's interview on NDTV at 6.30pm