In an interview to ESPNCricinfo, Harbhajan Singh, Indian and CSK offspinner said that he is fit and ready to don the national colours for T20I Cricket.
Harbhajan, who will be turning 40 this year, said, “I’m ready. If I can bowl well in IPL, which is a very difficult tournament for bowlers because the grounds are smaller, and all the top players in world cricket play in the IPL, it is very challenging to bowl against them and if you can do well against them in IPL, you can do well in international cricket. I have bowled predominantly in the powerplay and middle overs and got wickets.”
Harbhajan said that he was hurt that the selectors haven’t considered him for once despite his IPL success. He said, “They will not look at me because they feel I am too old. Also I don’t play any domestic cricket. Last four-five years they did not look at me even though I was doing well in the IPL, taking wickets and I had all my records to back my case.”
Harbhajan went on to talk about how tough the IPL is, and he believes that having excelled there, he has the self-belief to return to the national side.
He said, “In international cricket not all teams have quality players like IPL teams, where every team has a top 6 which is good. Yes, Australia, England, India have all got very good batting line-ups. But if I can get Johnny Bairstow and David Warner in IPL, don’t you think I can get them in international cricket? But it is not in my hands. No one comes and talk to you in this present Indian set-up.”
Currently, Harbhajan is the joint 3rd highest wicket taker in the IPL, with 150 wickets at an economy rate of 7.05. While Sunil Narine and R Ashwin, the top flight fingerspinners in the league, have believed in trying out different actions and adding more variations to their repertoire, Harbhajan has banked on the traditional off break and at times, the doosra, something that has brought him immense success for India over the years. His 417 Test wickets and 269 ODI wickets at averages of 32.46 and 33.35 affirm to the same.
The last time we saw Harbhajan play for India was back in 2016, when he featured in a solitary game in the Asia Cup T20 that preceded the T20 World Cup that year.