Hyderabad [India], May 8 (ANI): Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh believes he is ready now more than ever to make his way back into the national squad for the upcoming Champions Trophy, beginning June 1 in England and Wales.
Harbhajan, however, assured that he is not going to lose sleep even if national selectors, who will meet on May 8 in the New Delhi, don’t pick him.
The veteran off-spinner has bagged only eight wickets from nine matches he played so far in the ongoing tenth edition of the Indian Premier League, but his economy rate of 5.82 is the best for any spinner in this year’s IPL.
He also displayed impressive performances in the Vijay Hazare domestic 50-overs competition, taking nine wickets from six games at four an over.
And the 36-year-old admitted that he still has enough left in the tank to play a pivotal role for his side if he got selected for the 50-over pinnacle event.
“I have played and enjoyed those 15-16 years of top-level cricket, playing with the greats. I am enjoying the IPL and I am looking forward to making a comeback by doing well. If I have to look at myself in the mirror, I will say: ‘Look, you have done what you could have done. Is that enough for you to be selected?’ I would say yes because it’s not just about what I am doing here [in recent times]. I am talking about all these years when I played one-dayers,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Harbhajan as saying on the eve of Mumbai Indians’ game against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Harbhajan made his last ODI appearance for India in October 2015, while his most recent international appearance in any format of the game came more than a year ago against UAE during the 2016 Asia Cup T20.
Reflecting on the same, the off-spinner said he doesn’t know the reason behind his omission, despite giving some decent performances in domestic cricket as well as in IPL.
“I was called to play against South Africa [in 2015] and I was the [second] highest wicket-taker for India. After that I never played for India in ODIs. I don’t know the reason. In T20s, I have been part of the squad, but never got to play a game. Every year I do well in the IPL and I don’t get into the scheme of things in the last two-three years,” he added.
Although Harbhajan said that it wasn’t easy to motivate himself to go through the grind of domestic cricket, he still keeps himself going because he knows it is his only way to make his way back to the international scene.
“You feel that domestic cricket will get easier, you will go there and run through sides just because you played at the international level, but it doesn’t happen that way. Even if you are motivated, you still have to push your limits because sometimes these domestic players are better players of spin bowling than what the international players are nowadays,” he added.
He further assured the national selectors of his availability in all forms of cricket, adding that he is absolutely ready to perform as well as any other player.
“That’s the reason I am playing all the one-dayers, domestic T20s and now the IPL. If the selectors feel I should be part of [the Champions Trophy], I am ready because I am doing as well as anybody. There is no way I should think that I don’t stand a chance,” Harbhajan said. (ANI)