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'Burning desire' to play for India again - Harbhajan

Harbhajan Singh is ecstatic with the wicket of Chris Gayle BCCI

Harbhajan Singh, the Mumbai Indians offspinner, has said he wants to play international cricket for India again and feels he is doing everything he can to make a comeback. Harbhajan last played a Test for India in 2013, against Australia, and has since lost out to R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, who have become India's first-choice spinners.

"There is this burning desire inside me to make it back to the Indian team," Harbhajan told iplt20.com. "That is the reason I am playing cricket. Playing for India is the most satisfying thing and the biggest motivation for me. Every day I wake up with a dream and that is to get back into that Indian side. All I tell myself is to continue to bowl. I am making sure that I tick all the boxes that I have chalked out for myself."

Harbhajan made his debut in 1998 and is the third highest wicket-taker for India in Tests with 413 wickets, and has also picked up 259 ODI wickets. However, Harbhajan played only three matches in last season's Ranji Trophy, where he picked up six wickets with a best of 3 for 51.

"Hopefully I can make a comeback to Test matches. That is what I want to do. Hopefully with the kind of performances I am putting in, I will get there where I want to be," Harbhajan said. "I realise there is competition and there always has been competition. But I have been there and done well. Why can't I do it again? I don't think I am old, I am playing competitive cricket and pretty happy about it."

Harbhajan is Mumbai's second highest wicket-taker this IPL with 16 wickets in 14 games. He produced another impressive spell against Chennai Super Kings, including a double-strike in his third over - the 11th of the innings - with wickets of Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni, which helped Mumbai beat Super Kings by 25 runs to seal a spot in the final.

"We knew if we had to win this game we had to get Raina and Dhoni out. These two have been brilliant for Super Kings and for India as well. I just wanted to bowl to the best of my abilities. I had a set plan for them, which was to look to get them out rather than be defensive against them.

"Dhoni is a match-winner and getting his wicket changed the match for us. I felt good about it because I knew if he played 20 balls, it would be a different game altogether for us and for them. It was quite satisfying to get his wicket."