Agencies, New Delhi Team India discard Harbhajan Singh feels the current Australian side, which will tour India for a four-match Test series starting February 22, is no match with the previous Kangaroo teams. Harbhajan, who is considered as an old nemesis of the Kangaroos, said the previous Aussie teams had eleven match-winners and India has every chance of winning the upcoming home series 4-0.
‘The current Australian team is no where like the past sides. The previous teams had eleven match-winners, right from (Justin) Langer to (Glenn) McGrath. They had (Shane) Warne, (Matthew) Hayden and (Adam) Gilchrist in the team, who could win the match single-handedly but the present team is a weaker one. Hopefully, we can win 4-0,’ Harbhajan said on the sidelines of a golf event. The ‘turbunator’, however said India can not take the Aussies lightly considering the absence of big names.
‘We cannot take any side lightly, when we are playing international cricket. Australia is not the same team as they were five-ten years back. They will definitely come hard and we got to make sure we are ready for all the challenges and try to beat them in all the departments,’ he said. Commenting on India’s recent Test debacle against England at home, the off-spinner blamed the Indian batters, who failed to apply themselves in home conditions.
‘Its not always the fault of the pitches, England also played on the same tracks and they beat us. They have played our spinners well. Somewhere we (India) didn’t play well,’ he said. Harbhajan, a veteran of 99 Test matches, is however hopeful of making a comeback to the side in the forthcoming Test rubber against the Michael Clarke-led team.’I am working hard to be back to the national side. I am playing whatever opportunities are coming in front of me. I will play Irani trophy against Mumbai. Hopefully I can do well and get back to the side,’ he said. The Punjab tweaker was also excited at the prospect of playing his 100th Test at his homeground in Mohali (venue for third Test against Australia) if he gets the nod of the selectors.
‘Well obviously it will be a great day for me and I have been waiting for it. And hopefully it comes against Australia and that too in Mohali and nothing can beat that feeling and I can play a key role to beat them. It will be great to play my 100th Test for India in front of my homecrowd,’ he said. ‘If I get a chance to play against Australia, I will give my 100 per cent to the team and help India to regain the No 1 spot in Tests, its where we belong. We are a talented team and if we play to our potential, we can definite win the series and many more matches,’ he added. Replying to a query on India’s problems in the spin department in the recent series against England, the offie said India must outplay Australia in all departments if they are to win the series.
‘Overall we need to play good cricket, we need to bat well, we need to bowl well. Spin is not only the thing and to win the series, we need to outplay them (Aussies) in every department from fast bowling to batting to spin bowling and I am sure with the kind of talent have we can do that. Hope we can come back hard after what happened against England,’ he said. Commenting on his preparations for the series, Harbhajan said different players prepare in their own ways for a particular series.
‘Different people prepare differently for a series. Someone like (Rahul) Dravid would prepare very differently than me. Some do it with a lot of aggression and some with the opposite but the goal is the same – to guide the team win,’ he said. Harbhajan cited ‘added responsibilities’ as the sole reason for quitting the captaincy of the Mumbai Indians side in the Indian Premier League (IPL). ‘Its something which was going through my mind and I felt I needed to do. After Champions League (CLT20), I felt it was an added responsibility and I have to focus on my own game, so I decided to give the chance of captaining the side to someone else. Its a great side to lead and I am proud of the guys,’ he said.