Alison's Tea Break

Harbhajan focuses on 100 Tests

ESPNcricinfo staff

August 26, 2012

Comments: 75 | Text size: A | A

Harbhajan Singh still harbours hopes of reaching the landmark of 100 Tests despite not having played in the format for a year. He was left stranded on 98 caps when injury struck during last year's tour of England and he admitted he never imagined that he would be out of the side for so long.

It has taken a stint with English county side Essex for Harbhajan to rediscover his rhythm and his form, resulting in a recall to the India squad for the upcoming ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

In the latest edition of 'Alison's Tea Break', Harbhajan tells Alison Mitchell about his time out of the India fold, describing how his desperation to get back hampered his form rather than helping it.

He opens up to talk about his use of 'visualisation' in order to achieve the right performance state and make himself feel as if he's "done it all before" when he takes to the field to bowl. Find out which Indian great introduced him to the technique, what it involves and when he does it. Hear what he means when he insists 'process' must come before results, and what his lofty ambitions are with the India team as he strives to force his way back into the Test as well as Twenty20 side.

Harbhajan was speaking before R Ashwin took 12 for 85 in the first Test against New Zealand, while left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha also took six wickets in the match to suggest India's Test spin department is in capable hands for the time being. However, with the visit of England looming later in the year Harbhajan is eager to add to his 405 wickets.

"I'm quite hopeful and very positive about the way things have gone here," he said of his stint at Essex. "I can't wait to get back in the Test side again, can't wait to take lots of wickets again and take my team to the No. 1 position again. That will be the contribution from my side, that's what I want to do. It can be done. It's all about belief."

And Harbhajan admitted that the desperation to get back into the Test fold may not have helped his cause of the last 12 months. "In my case I was very desperate to come back. That was probably the reason why I wasn't really concentrating on the job, or on what I had in my hand," he said. "In the last year I was putting myself under so much pressure to do well that my focus was more on the result than the process. It should have been more on the process."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (August 28, 2012, 20:47 GMT)

This reads like a "The Onion" article. Hilarious.

Posted by   on (August 28, 2012, 16:13 GMT)

@Nampally- Are u suggesting Aparajith based on U-19 performance. Give him sometime. Its too early. Let them prove in India A tours. They have time, age on their side. May be an year and half after we can experiment with them or bring them into main team but not now based on euphoria of WC triumph. Also, Harbhajan might be struggling in English county but for Eng and Aus series its different. He's will be playing in Indian pitches if included. Also the ground in Eng county where he was expensive is not a spin friendly wicket. I am looking at it from the perspective of where he would play not how hes currently doing in Eng. Also IF he performs in India, he might get his confidence back. For a spinner hes still young and has loads of experience and aggression. Ash and Ojha can learn from him. We do perform well in India whenever we played 3 spinners. It's a cliche to say Class is permanent form is temporary but that the truth. He might reinvent himself. Ignore him at ur own peril

Posted by laxmanrules on (August 28, 2012, 15:59 GMT)

Harbhajan has to emerge as the best spin bowler from in this seasons Ranji. Last season, he was in horrible form and I think even went wicketless in one Punjab game. It would be sad if either Ashwin or Ojha were dropped from the test side. As it is, he is very lucky to be picked in the T20 squad. Feel his batting, and the fact that we're playing in Sri Lanka has gone a long way in his selection in the squad as the second spinner after Ashwin. It is sad that Ojha was overlooked, but, in T20, the role of bit-part cricketers(and that is what Bhajji is) is exaggerated.

Posted by Nampally on (August 28, 2012, 15:57 GMT)

@Ahmad Uetien: Sir, I do not understand the point you are making. This article is about Harbhajan trying to make a come back to the Indian Test team & what are his chances of doing it. You seem to have launched on a subject totally unrelated to the subject matter. From what I can vaguely make out You appear to be stating India has quality bowling but the bowling strategy is wrong. How is it even vaguely connected to the subject under discussion? Also what you are saying does not make much sense. All bowlers try their best to get the batsmen Out. No body tells them to follow to any strategy other than this end result. It does not matter whether it is McGrath, ZAK, Irfan or Yadev. If they bowl to a controlled length & direction they will get them out.Why would Dhoni ask them to bowl full tosses or short balls when the object is to get the batsmen out by bowling to the field set? Your comments are unrelated to the topic being discussed + totally defies logic & rationality!.

Posted by   on (August 28, 2012, 15:57 GMT)

BCCi should return Bhajji Again.............. they should remember Bhajji is a heroic character of Indian winning...

Posted by Raj1969 on (August 28, 2012, 15:00 GMT)

Bhajji ,concentrate on t20 world cup rather than yr personal milestone......"""""

Posted by Min2_cric on (August 28, 2012, 14:42 GMT)

bhajji my friend, u r a gonner...u were in team India for so many years n do u even think of comparing urself to the likes of kumble,warne,swann...u r so inconsistent dat v can never depend on u...

Posted by veerakannadiga on (August 28, 2012, 11:12 GMT)

Bhajji lost it, I am sorry to say this, because of his attitude. Once a human being starts believing that he is omnipotent, his character deserts him.(slapping another guy with attitude problem,Sreeshanth, is a case in point). You cannot achieve anything without good character. Sounds philosophical, yet true.

Posted by NLS1 on (August 28, 2012, 11:08 GMT)

Harbhajan's time is up and Ashwin is still new (and yet to prove himself in all conditions). The fact is, Indian team still does not have spinners who can do well consistently in India and can keep things quiet playing a supporting role when travelling overseas. We have no spinners right now who can compare well with Ajmal or Swann.

Posted by   on (August 28, 2012, 11:05 GMT)

Desire for records and milestones dominate a sub continent cricketer. Harbhajan wants to play 100 tests though he is ineffective with the ball. Inzamam wept because he was 2 runs short of Javed Miandads run aggregate and was stumped. Why doesnt Bhajji realise his playing days are numbered with modern young spinners who are doing an excellent job? He should concentrate on Ranji and T20 for now. An Aussie or a Englishman would never like to prolong his tenure with the team.

Posted by   on (August 28, 2012, 10:31 GMT)

It does not really matter that he makes a come back or not, what matters is that Harbhajan was the first Indian Bowler to take a Hat-Trick in test matches, under the then captaincy of Saurav Ganguly. He made big it really Big (32 wickets) against the mighty Australians, when India was totally on the sidelines. For him to be obnoxious against the Australians was no big deal, when somebody is at that position it happens. Like Laxman, Dravid, Ganguly, Srinath and many more, all what matters is that India wins, be it Ashwin or any XYZ. Harbhajan's contribution to Indian team is no minnows work.

Posted by   on (August 28, 2012, 8:34 GMT)

@Dashgar. You are right on the dot. Glad that you quoted the example of Gilchrist. Some of the older cricket fans may remember, how pathetic it was to look at Kapil, dragging on and on trying to break Hadlee's record. And the whole country was watching that painful last few years of Kapil's test cricket, with agony by most and contempt by a few.

Posted by mylife4cricket on (August 28, 2012, 8:23 GMT)

i wish harbhajan good luck in his return,but at the same time his position in the team will not be permanent because we know how well aswin is contributing to the team and to his support ojha is also doing well,so it will be hard for harbhajan.In a situation like this only way infront of him is to be consistent with his bowling.

Posted by   on (August 28, 2012, 7:38 GMT)

Poor Bhajji...still harbours hopes of making his way back to the Indian team....I still remember the comment hayden made about him....'as obnoxious as a weed'....although the comment was made in a completely different context...bhajji with his attitude was beginning to fit the comment pretty nicely....The team is much better off without such people.....hope he never comes back to the Indian Team again....

Posted by   on (August 28, 2012, 7:32 GMT)

sounds funny when people say that ashwin has done well and harbhajan is not going to make it back in tests. take a look at harbhajans career, he is best spinner for india after kumble. ashwin has done well in india, and i can asure you that aswin will never be able to do well in overseas conditions. look at his figures, what ashwin has done in recent tour of srilanks, don't ever compare harbhajan with someone like ashwin who is only in indian team because he sucks dhoni's balls.

Posted by arya_underfoot on (August 28, 2012, 6:57 GMT)

if he's taking enough wickets, and one of the incumbent spinners' form drops off, there's no reason why harbhajan shouldn't play for india again. i cant see it happening, but still, he's certainly young enough, and the from what we can read here, desperate enough. now it's up to him to prove himself all over again.

neither ashwin nor ojha are in the kumble class, so their spots in the test team are by no means permanent. the backup spinners like rahul sharma, mishra and chawla have not been particularly impressive either, so there's definitely still hope for harbhajan.

Posted by   on (August 28, 2012, 6:13 GMT)

Sad, but true --- Bhaji's international days are over. Now on, he may have to get his cricketing satisfaction, like Warne or Gilly. Playing club / county / franchise cricket!

Posted by   on (August 28, 2012, 3:50 GMT)

harbhajan can have all the self belief he wants but he is not going to return to the test side anytime soon becoz ashwin has done very well..harbhajan can bowl 4 overs in t20 and 10 in an odi but he's no longer effective in tests.

Posted by Dashgar on (August 28, 2012, 3:38 GMT)

The problem with India is their obsession with records and milestones. If Harbhajan plays 2 more tests it won't change his legacy 1 bit, just like that 1 extra century won't change Sachins legacy. Gilchrist only played 96 tests and he's still an all time legend. Two more tests won't make Harbhajan any greater, only a consistent run of wicket taking can do that.

Posted by sramesh_74 on (August 28, 2012, 3:21 GMT)

Harbhajan has done nothing to warrant a place in the T20 squad..He hardly played any domestic cricket. Ashwin and Ojha have done enough to seal their spots in the test squad.

Posted by BoseDeeKay on (August 28, 2012, 3:20 GMT)

I feel it's time to move on and forget about this joker. Bhajji had his share of fun and fame while being part of the Indian team in all three formats. Everyone appreciates his contributions but it's time to move on. Let us all leave bhajji alone and let him practice and play in either in English counties or the Ranji or as a matter of fact even the BBL or SLPL. We wish you luck Bhajji! The Indian team has moved on without you and your services are no longer needed.Thank you very much for your contributions to Indian cricket. Your time is really up and you need to start about your other business ventures and spend some quality time by concentrating on them. Good Luck!

Posted by playinrain on (August 28, 2012, 2:48 GMT)

He's lost it! Sometimes fame and expectations are like a worm in the mind. Some guys cope with it better than others....Sachin for example. Bhajjis ego has destroyed his career as much as injury has. Vetori went a similar way, started making a few runs as captain ... then the wickets dried up! Your current crop of spinners are good lads, and the under 19 left armer....move on, you have so much depth in talent in India, theres no need to get strung out over a once was great player.

Posted by wolf777 on (August 28, 2012, 1:50 GMT)

I don't know why this guy is back in the T20 team? He did not bowl too well in IPL..

Posted by jango_moh on (August 28, 2012, 0:44 GMT)

bhajji is def talented, and i think this time away can help him, he was beginning to just complain about not getting wickets by blaming pitches, and "i tried my best" etc... and like many ppl say here, he was not willing to change and flight the ball... hope he can make a comeback so we hve a good pool of spinners who can be rotated!!! good luck to him, if he's good enuf he can come back to tests, but he shud be selected only on performance...

Posted by SanjivAwesome on (August 28, 2012, 0:06 GMT)

Harbhajan has special talents. He is a non-spinning spinner. Let him play for English counties, please. Their pitches are not spinner friendly so everyone will think he is slow medium pacer any way.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (August 27, 2012, 23:06 GMT)

harbajan has doe nothing to earn a recall but then neither has yuvraj but is in the t20 world cup squad. whilst an innings defeat suggests that ind dominated this test the result has to take into account that nz are fielding one of their weakest teams ina long time. although eng has lost it's no1 test team status they have not became a bad team and will present a stronger challenge to india this winter especially if swann plays and possibly another spinner. i think this series was a good opportunity for ind to drop a batter and play an extra spinner. it would be nice to see dhoni rest tendulkar and play choose between badrinath/rohit/raina at 4 and bowl either chawla/mishra. i don't see where there is space for harbajan.

Posted by   on (August 27, 2012, 21:04 GMT)

Like I have been commenting earlier in different articles that Indian bowling doesn't really lack quality rather it had been the bowling strategy that had been flawed which made indian bowling figures terrible...........e.g if Mc Grath (the greatest fast bowler) bowls full tosses on Perth wicket it will be food & drink for even the Bangladeshi tailenders - pitch is bowling friendly, best bowler in operation then y a tailender tharashing ??...............Ans WRONG BOWLING STRATEGY................Similarly the Indian bowling strategy had been flawed as fast bowlers were asked to bowl slow balls, spinners were asked to dart fast yorkers, hit the deck bowler (Ishant) was asked to bowl full into the stumps, Fast Inswinger bowler Yadav was asked to bowl short of length outside off stump with offside field, Zaheer was bowling full tosses; slow medium pacers Irfan, Dinda, Parveen were asked to bowl bouncers..........................Then u know what should happen & exactly that happened

Posted by moBlue on (August 27, 2012, 20:59 GMT)

come on, people... don't forget that when bhajji is on song - especially if he gets an early wicket - he *can* be magical! i mean, he is what they call a "confidence" bowler... when he is on song, he bowls from both over and around the stumps, and most importantly, he flights, and bounces and turns the ball, which makes a ricky ponting look silly! the sight of bhajji on song with a first slip, a forward and a backward short leg [let alone a silly point as well!] is a sight to savor! yes, he has been out of form, and i haven't liked his flat bowling - with no flight - for a long time, but the dude is definitely talented... and can be aggressive when he is feeling it. i like ashwin's aggression but bhajji *can* turn the ball a mile, something ashwin seems incapable of doing!

Posted by Nampally on (August 27, 2012, 20:42 GMT)

@Rajiv Govindrajan: Dhoni had great difficulty in including a second spinner in addition to Ashwin. Rahul Sharma was benched 20 times & Ojha was also benched for quite a few games.Why will he go with 2 off spinners when he had such dislike for spinners? Yet spinners winfor India. Harbhajan's form & ability is a huge question mark. In the English county match yesterday he had 1 for 63 in 8 overs & scored just 3 runs when he was promoted to #3. His record in IPL, Ranji Trophy & any representative games have clearly shown he is struggling to take wickets. It is sad that a great bowler like him has just "lost it"! He was such a force to reckon when he bowled in tandem with Kumble. I have my doubts whether he will ever produce the old magic again. Your combination sounds fine on paper but on field it is a matter of production. I would much rather go with young Aparajith if India needs a second off spinner or Harmeet in a couple of years. Sandeep Sharma & Harmeet are young bowlers of future.

Posted by pawaramol22 on (August 27, 2012, 20:31 GMT)

Bhajji, it looks very to difficult to come back in tests for now

Posted by Prakmca on (August 27, 2012, 19:02 GMT)

Let him first stop talking to te media. Concentrate on your job which is bowling, not criticising the media who criticises your performance.

Still it is miracle how he got into the T20I side.

He is not even able to pick wickets in india in first class matches. He used to pick wickets only in the past when he bowls along with Anil Kumble. You cannot have anyone in the team for the past records.

Posted by ProdigyA on (August 27, 2012, 18:10 GMT)

The biggest issue with Bhajji is that he is too stubborn, much like MS, and never willing to change or adapt. Always ready to give excuses instead of looking at his own lack of performance and trying to improve. These are the same wickets last time when NZ toured India and he critisized the curators for not preparing a turning track in Hyd. Look what Ashwin has done now on the same wicket.

Posted by binojpeter on (August 27, 2012, 17:35 GMT)

I believe that there is place for Harbhajan in the scheme of things. Nobody is against him. In this period of excessive cricket, rotation of players is essential and it is always good to have a good bench of wicket taking bowlers and healthy competition for places. Hence Harbhajan can get back into team if he proves himself. But he has to find an answer to the main issue that has eluded him for last few years and resulted in his loss of place in the team - ability to get crucial wickets.

Posted by Rajavel-cricket on (August 27, 2012, 17:11 GMT)

The answer is simple, Do not bring bhajji again into test team. just continue with Ashwin and Ojha, if u want one more spinner bring harmeet singh or iqbal abdulla .. when u play against England prepare terrible turning tracks and add extra spinner as well is cost of raina. Bring irfan into the team for pace attack and drop Umesh or zaheer.. U can win easily against england.. Bhajji records in tests past 3 years- 18 matches ,63 wickets and average - 40., strike rate 83

Posted by   on (August 27, 2012, 16:09 GMT)

Indian Cricket Lovers...

Posted by   on (August 27, 2012, 15:59 GMT)

@Nampally -Actually i would like to disagree with you. Indian team still has room for Harbhajan provided the team management thinks out of the box to include Harbhajan along side Ashwin and Ojha, include Irfan and drop Raina and finally have Zaheer in the team for Eng and Aus series in India. This will be an awesome team with fine balance to counter Aus and Eng. Ashwin and Harbhajan can attack in tandem with Ojha containing the other end. Irfan and Zaheer can do the medium pacers role and both can reverse swing. This will be an extremely balanced and attacking option. 7th batsmans role can be compensated by Irfan,Ashwin and Harbhajan.

Posted by   on (August 27, 2012, 15:52 GMT)

No doubt he is a Legend, one of the most successful India spinners in past 12-15 years, but now it may the end of Bhajji if he fails at T20 World Cup. Good Luck Champion, just don't keep the vigor and aggression down!

Posted by ajeet15 on (August 27, 2012, 15:23 GMT)

I have no hesitation to support the decision that Harbhajan Singh MUST be allowed to play 100 tests, which would be a good personal landmark for a fighter player like him. And the honor of playing 100 tests for the country would be irreplaceable.

I am very optimistic that very soon he will make a comeback in the test squad and will certainly add to his tally of wickets.

Posted by   on (August 27, 2012, 15:01 GMT)

Bhajji is not even able to pick wickets in Ranji, what will he do in tests ?, Its just mere waste picking him in the team.

Posted by   on (August 27, 2012, 14:57 GMT)

I don't understand why it is so difficult for him to acknowledge that he was out of form and bowled badly leading up to England tour.

He is lucky that spineless selectors gave him another chance. He has not done anything special in county or in Ranji cricket.

Posted by MunafAhmed811 on (August 27, 2012, 14:56 GMT)

Its all about belief ..and 90% of Indian cricket fans believe you should be nowhere near the team unless you learn how to spin ball and take wickets instead of darting balls. Heck even Sehwag and Raina get more spin on same tracks where you fail to get even basic spin.

Posted by kaidranzer on (August 27, 2012, 14:41 GMT)

Why is everyone here so obsessed with allrounders? You need specialists to win matches. Look at the case of Tim Bresnan and Steven Finn. Bresnan was in the England team because of his containing role as a bowler and a handy bat at 8. He had to go because Finn clearly is a superior bowler. If you keep Ashwin in the team because he bats a bit better than other contenders who may be better bowlers then that will be a losing strategy. I am not saying Harbhajan is a better prospect than Ashwin but stacking up mediocre bats in the lower middle order will spell doom for India outside the subcontinent. Also, Ashwin is still only 7 Tests old. Let him settle down. England will be a stiffer opposition than NZ and I think they will be able to handle Ashwin and Ojha pretty well.

Posted by   on (August 27, 2012, 14:40 GMT)

About time to retire. There are plenty of youngsters waiting in line to get a chance. Bye Bye Bhajji.

Posted by anith.kamel on (August 27, 2012, 14:23 GMT)

on the disastrous tour of australia ashwin didn't even get to be attacking given the runs our guys scored nor were the australian batsmen under any pressure given low totals to chase. looking at his numbers, if you take out sydney where our guys blew it completely and lost by an innings, ashwin took 9 wickets in 2 test matches in australia.. for a spinner in australia, i wud say they were good numbers given the situation. harbajan in australia had far more runs to work with and he was never successful there. let's see how ashwin performs in england and south africa, before passing judgement on him or replacing him..

Posted by Nampally on (August 27, 2012, 12:41 GMT)

With Ashwin & Ojha providing an excellent wicket taking Duo, there is little room for Harbhajan to make any inroads into the Indian Test team. If one looks at the record of this Duo who have the highest total wkts. taken in the past 4 test matches playing together. In addition they are both 25 - about 7 years younbger than Harbhajan. There are also a few spinners in the U-19 team notably Aparajith & Harmeet. I Personally feel that Harbhajan must end his careers playing in the English county league where the pitches are more bowler friendly. It will be tough, if not impossible, for him to make a comeback to the Indian test team. I wish him all the luck.

Posted by ultrasnow on (August 27, 2012, 12:28 GMT)

Indian fan here and I really watched the video interview only for a glimpse of the interviewer and her mega watt smile. Bhajji, your incoherent depressed mumblings just made me switch off mid-way!!! :(:(:(

Posted by   on (August 27, 2012, 12:25 GMT)

I think some are being too harsh on Ashwin's performance in Aus . It was his first tour and you don't get much purchase in the first innings in Aus . He was not in a position to attack in the second innings as India was always behind the eight ball during that tour . I think he really deserves a good long stint .As far as Harbhajan is concerned I think his time is up . It would be a negative step if they go back to him . The next in line after Ashwin and Ojha should be Harmeet . I was extremely impressed with the way he bowled in the U-19 WC .

Posted by MunafAhmed811 on (August 27, 2012, 12:24 GMT)

Whenever Bhajii bowled I never got the feeling that the battter would be foxed and a wicket would fall. Did Bhaji even make ball spin. Infact only time wicket seem to fall was if batter made mistake. I still remember the Wc2007 T20 final. The game would never have been so close cliffhangerif Harbhajan had not given those 3 sixes in the 18th over to Misbah. More than Misbah..it was Bhajji who brought the final closer in Pakistans grasp. New bowlers like Rahul sharma, Iqbal Abdullah , Harmeet and for that matter even Baba aprajith seem/look better than Bhajji. But couretesy Dhoni,Tendulkar ..I am sure Bhajji will be back..Sad but true

Posted by   on (August 27, 2012, 11:59 GMT)

So many of guys here are commenting Harbhajan to be an ordinary bowler and one whose career has been over... How can you even call a bowler ordinary who has taken 400+ international wickets...??? Agreed he has out of form of late... But its not just about him being the sole reason, many a times captain asks u to contain runs, in that process you bowl a negative line and then wickets just elude you...

I believe he has the class and the temperament to make a comeback! Any day I will go with Bhajji having confidence rather than Ashwin or Ojha... Looking forward to see him back in test cricket...

Posted by Meety on (August 27, 2012, 11:58 GMT)

The Turbanator is doing a bit of a KP here. India have won a test, & now he pops up. I think that at his best, he is arguably the best spinner in the world, - problem being, he hasn't been near his best for about 3yrs. Hard to see him get back in the Test team whilst India play sides like NZ, unless there are injuries.

Posted by   on (August 27, 2012, 11:16 GMT)

Indian pitches either support batsmen or spinners & the fast bowlers in the Indian are very average. Even West Indies has at least 1 good fast bowler now a days. Zaheer Khan is basically a has been If they prepare decent pitches maybe Yadav could become a decent bowler as he has a little pace. But India could also play an all spin attack or 3 spinners & a half decent 'fast' bowler in the sub continent. However in the next year or so when they go touring without Dravid, Laxman & maybe Tendulkar that should be a very interesting time.

Posted by CandidIndian on (August 27, 2012, 11:11 GMT)

Can anyone explain what has he done to earn a place back in Indian team ?Tagline of Indian selection panel should be If Chawla can ,why not anyone else.There is a special delivery called Doosra which made Bhajji what he is now,he need to start practicing Doosra in nets.

Posted by 777aditya on (August 27, 2012, 11:03 GMT)

Much to his chagrin, Bhajji has only himself to blame for not being able to cement his place in the test side after Kumble's retirement. Now, people are only talking about Ashwin and Ojha; however, the main competition for Bhajji could be his state-mate Harmeet Singh. Harmeet is on the right side of age, is a solid bat, and definitely the best fielder of all the four guys mentioned. If India decide on playing only 2 spinners out of these four - it has to be Ashwin OR Harbhajan as off spinners AND Ojha OR Harmeet as left arm orthodox. If Ashwin can improve his fielding, no one can show him the door. Harmeet, if given a chance, can easily oust Ojha on account of being a better batsman and fielder.

Posted by Samar_Singh on (August 27, 2012, 10:26 GMT)

Was bhajji ever a very good and threatening bowler ? I never felt so .. For me he was just above average bowler and good only on few Indian pitches .. He averages around 39 (in 46 test match) outside India .. Is that a sound stat for a guy with such a long carrier ??

Posted by SuperSaj on (August 27, 2012, 10:24 GMT)

Ashwin and Ojha deserve a good stint in the team now after their overall performance in the last 1-2 years. End of the day every team needs to move on and given these two are in their mid 20s with their future ahead it is there where India should focus rather than a 30+ spinner who has under-performed for 5 years.

Posted by   on (August 27, 2012, 10:14 GMT)

I would day Bhajji still has a chance if India needs a third spinner .. I am waiting to see how Ashwin would perform out of India .. I dont think he had a successful Australian Tour and England Tour .. But with a hope that he would have learned a lot from International cricket.. I would hope Ashwin is here to stay

Posted by tinkertinker on (August 27, 2012, 10:07 GMT)

Singh's test figures over the last 4 years don't make pretty reading, with the young spinners doing well his time in tests is up and probably should have been up 18 months ago.

Posted by 512fm on (August 27, 2012, 9:47 GMT)

He should really just retire in dignity. Ojha and Ashwin are doing a fine job at the moment, he really isn't required. I would be disappointed if India dropped either spinner for him.

Posted by Ravishenkar on (August 27, 2012, 9:34 GMT)

Bhajji was made by Kumble.... He is the person behind Bhajji's success. Once Kumble retired Bhajji miserly failed as there is no one to guide him on the field. In simple word, Bhajji was made with Kumble at the other end. But Bhajji failed in his role as a mentor to develop an youngster instead of going out with respect he still dream of making it 100 caps for India. As usual Indian cricket lives with past glory instead of moving ahead to achieve new heights. NO INDIVIDUAL IS BIGGER THAN TEAM. If we follow this we can become a good cricketing side. Else forget it...

Posted by Edassery on (August 27, 2012, 9:16 GMT)

It makes no sense to get him back on the 'Test side'. Ashwin is performing very well with bat and ball in Test matches with a batting average of 35 already and consistently taking 4 or more wickets per match. In abroad conditions neither of them are particularly great and hence considering the age factor, it makes sense to persist with Ashwin.

However, Harbhajan is an excellent fit for the ODI and T20 side who can does a bit of damage with the bat as well.

Posted by gov544 on (August 27, 2012, 8:52 GMT)

Harbhajan will be back we can have 2 off spinner bowling in tandom simply because Ashwin and bhajji r 2 differnt type of bowlers.......with irfan batting at no 7 drop a batsman indian team can go with 3 seamers and 2 spinners bcoz ashwin bhajji both can bat.....so we casn have bhajji batting at no 9 with 2 test centuries against his name

Posted by zimmby on (August 27, 2012, 8:36 GMT)

Sorry Bhajji, time's up for you. You were given a lot more chances than any other before you were kicked out of the team. After being kicked out, you didn't perform well in the domestic circuit. You went to play for Essex and took some wickets. But that's too little, too late. We already have our hands full with many options. Any like many others, I too wonder what you have done to justify your place in T20 squad. Goodbye, have a nice time in the county!

Posted by chapathishot on (August 27, 2012, 8:33 GMT)

To all those commenting on Ashwin ,He has to perform well outside the subcontinent to prove his worth.The same lot who was after Ashwin and Dhoni in Australia are praising him based on his performance in India

Posted by RobTay14 on (August 27, 2012, 8:08 GMT)

Although I think Ohja and Ashwin are better choices, India should just give Singh a couple matches in the next few years, maybe against weaker opponents, or heck, just take a couple chances, to give him the big milestone of 100 tests. He deserves it! After playing 98 for them..

Posted by kingcobra85 on (August 27, 2012, 7:25 GMT)

Its time for youngsters in the team. If youngsters are not performing then we have reason to change but why change the team why youngsters are performing. Bhajji is already 32 and he may play 3 more years. Even if he plays he has lost his wicket taking ability

Posted by bmoizuddin on (August 27, 2012, 7:18 GMT)

hey comon bhajji u had enough of ur time with indian team... its only that if u expect and making it back to indian xi u will just get hurt nothing else... as we all can see that ashwin, ojha are doing fine infact more then fine job and there are real young spinners in line like: iqbal abdullah, nadeem, rahul sharma, aparjeet and so on and so the list can go on for atlest more then 20 better then u presently ... ENOUGH IS ENOUGH JUST ENJOY UR LIFE WITHOUT EXPECTING A CALL BACK FOR INDIAN XI... THOUGH IM LIKE MOST OF THE INDIAN ARE SURPRISED THAT U ARE IN T20 XI... but thats how the indian selection process is... instead bhajji they should have opted for young spinner like iqbal abdual who is very good fielder too... well lets hope whatever and whoever is selected in indian team the prime target should be to play good cricket and win matches for india...

Posted by kanwar11 on (August 27, 2012, 7:14 GMT)

I do not understand how people can say that Ojha and Ashwin are better then Bhaji..... He may not be in best form of his life but one can not compare them. As Ashwin is just 5 tests I guess. To be a great he needs to do lot more.

Posted by Urooj-Lodhi on (August 27, 2012, 7:05 GMT)

Harbhajan took lots and lots of wickets for India, and had won many a matches not only with his bowling but, with his batting as well in ODIs as well. We should not forget a great player so soon in his career, one or two series, if he is out of Form, we talk about new comers, of course, new comers are to be given chances, but, even Ajanta Mendis of Sri Lanka had faded away. We need to see how many wickets Bhajji have in his bags, these are all of very quality players, likes of Pontings, Laras, Inzamams and so on.

Posted by raheelaqeel on (August 27, 2012, 6:51 GMT)

I still believe that india has much better spinners than bhaji in OJHA & ASHWIN... I do respect Bhaji alot for his contributions to Indian Cricket and in general Cricket, but Bhaji has never inspired me alot as other talented Spinners India have got. I think India should also focus to develop Iqbal Abdullah A Pakistani Cricket fan.

Posted by   on (August 27, 2012, 6:04 GMT)

Action speak louder than words. Please get more wickets and get back to the team rather than just speaking about a comeback!

Posted by Tahir_Anjum on (August 27, 2012, 5:39 GMT)

Best of luck to you but it looks like that it will much difficult comeback as Ashwin & Ojha are doing well. Anyway you are a fighter and you can do it best wishes from Pakistan

Posted by   on (August 27, 2012, 5:22 GMT)

Harbhajan has not done enough to earn a Test recall. He has been 'poor' in the domestic matches since he was left out of India squad. His performance in county cricket has been poor as well. A bowling average of 33 against English first class players; who are not the best at playing spin is not really much to talk about. He has been recalled in India T20 squad just because he can bowl flat and tight and stop the runs at times. That doesn't mean he is ready to be back in India test team.

Posted by   on (August 27, 2012, 5:19 GMT)

No vacancy for Harbajhan as Aswin and Ojha are doing well

Posted by Romenevans on (August 27, 2012, 5:10 GMT)

Dream on...Ashwin already stole your place and then Harmeet Singh from U-19 is ready to make a huge statement as soon as he get into the Indian team.

Posted by   on (August 27, 2012, 4:44 GMT)

When we are playing cricket in the Indian subcontinent, I think we can even afford to play a spin quartet. Based on the recent results, Ashwin may look a better choice than Harbhajan, since Ashwin is more a wicket taking bowler and a better bowling all rounder. But, I believe both Ashwin and Bhajji should play together, along with one of the two left arm spinners Praghyan Ojha or Harmeet Singh and with one of the two leg spinners Rahul Sharma or Piyush Chawla. If we have Irfan Pathan to share the new ball with a dedicated seamer, we have three bowling all rounders Irfan, Ashwin and Bhajji (to some extent). By the way Rahane, Gambhir, Pujara, Kohli or Badri, Dhoni, Irfan, Ashwin, Bhajji, Ojha, Chawla, Yadav can be a good playing eleven for the next match. We can probably win the test match in 2 days. Sorry Zaheer, Sehwag and Sachin can take some rest and give more opportunities for youngsters like Dravid and Laxman oferred.

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