Want to be a professional cricketer?
The 39-year-old Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who last represented the Indian national cricket team in the Asia Cup 2016, is ready to return to the Indian team. While he is confident enough about his present form, he feels that the team is not looking at him anyway.
For a long time, Harbhajan Singh was India’s primary spinner. After making his international debut in 1998, Harbhajan has played 103 Tests, 236 ODIs and 28 T20Is where the off-spinner has taken 417, 269 and 25 wickets respectively. He is the second-most wicket-taker for India in international cricket history (707 wickets).
Harbhajan is the joint third-most wicket-taker in Indian T20 cricket history as he has taken 235 wickets in 265 T20 matches. The joint third-most wicket-taker in IPL history (150 wickets) believes that he can bowl well in the T20I cricket if he performs well in the challenging tournament IPL.
Harbhajan told ESPNcricinfo, “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 hasn’t played a recognised match since the IPL 2019 final where the off-spinner was wicketless but finished with 16 wickets in 11 matches of that tournament. He last played a first-class or List A match in 2017 while he now only features in the IPL tournament. However, the veteran off-spinner feels that the IPL performance is enough to enter the Indian T20I side.
He added, “They will not look at me because they feel I am too old. Also, I don’t play any domestic cricket. [In the] 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.”
No one comes and talk to you in this present Indian set-up: Harbhajan Singh
While Harbhajan achieved good success against the top reputed batsmen in the recent IPL tournaments, he feels that he can continue it for India in the T20I, where the challenges are lesser than IPL. The veteran off-spinner regrets that the present Indian set-up hasn’t shown any interest in him.
Harbhajan claimed, “In international cricket not all teams have quality players like IPL teams, where every team has a top-six 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.”
While Harbhajan Singh last time played for the Indian team in the Asia Cup 2016 against the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which was a T20I match, his last Test was 2015 Galle Test (against Sri Lanka) and last ODI was 2015 Mumbai ODI (against South Africa).