Harbhajan Singh, the injured India offspinner who has been out of the national side, has said he is fit to return to competitive cricket. Harbhajan had missed most of the Ranji Trophy because of a shin injury. He will be using the domestic one-day competition, the Vijay Hazare Trophy, he said, to stake his claim for a spot in the national side.
"I am fully fit and ready for competitive cricket," Harbhajan Singh told PTI. "I will be making a comeback during the zonal one-dayers, where I will be leading the Punjab side.
"I have been bowling regularly at the National Cricket Academy [in Bangalore] and haven't encountered any problems. My fight to make a comeback into the national team will start with the zonal one-dayers and hopefully I will be able to perform to the best of my abilities."
The preliminary round of the Vijay Hazare Trophy is contested by the states at a zonal level, with the top teams proceeding to the inter-zonal knockout rounds. Punjab's first game in the North Zone group is against Haryana on February 20.
Harbhajan missed out on India's Test and one-day series at home against West Indies in 2011, as well as the ongoing Australia tour, following a run of poor form. Against England in July, he picked up only two wickets before an abdominal muscle injury forced him to return home. He hasn't represented India since.
Harbhajan also said he was considering a stint in county cricket to force his way back into the national setup. "For me, it's about performing and making a comeback to the Indian team as soon possible. Playing county cricket is certainly not a bad idea. I can only take a call once the Indian Premier League is over, but it also depends on whether the BCCI will allow me to go and play a few matches in county cricket."