Cape Town:Comment by Darren about England being far superior to India angers Harbhajan Singh.
The fieriness in Harbhajan Singh was at full throttle on the eve of Sunday's third and final Test match against South Africa here when the India off-spinner sat down with MiD DAY for an exclusive chat.
The spinner did his bit to help India come back from an innings defeat in the opening Test at Centurion and post one of their finest Test wins in Durban last week.
His four wickets for 10 runs helped India bowl out South Africa for 131 in the first innings.
Excerpts from an interview:
On leaving the ground early on Saturday:
I could not practice because I was suffering from a toothache. I had to leave the ground early to consult a dentist.
On approaching milestones:
I know that I am just 14 wickets away from 400 Test scalps and just eight games away for my 100th Test match. Both are very big milestones for my cricketing career. I really don't know where I will play the 100th Test match. First, I thought I would play it in England, but now I learn we will not play any Tests in the West Indies, so it will change. I am really proud to approach these two feats. Getting to both milestones will be very special.
On Darren Gough's claims that England can beat India seven days in a week:
When did he say this? (When reminded it was December 31, the 'Turbanator' said: He must have had an overdose of alcohol).
On the Durban victory:
It was a fantastic fightback after losing at Centurion. It was one of our best wins. However, I don't think that the Durban victory was our best because we have also won at Perth (2008), Headingley (2002), Nottingham (2007) and Adelaide (2003) in the last 10 years or so.
On grassy tracks in South Africa:
I do not fear grassy tracks. Whether there is grass or not on the wicket, I am not worried. It looks like it is a batting wicket at Cape Town. Let's see how it pans out.
On Graeme Smith's comment that pitch will take turn:
Graeme Smith? Why should I value his words? He also said that it will be 2-0 at Durban.
On how he celebrated New Year's eve:
We all visited the waterfront in Cape Town. We thought there would be firecrackers, but there weren't a lot. We had a quiet dinner and retired to our rooms.
On Sourav Ganguly's constant support:
I am glad to know my ex-captain always has some wonderful words for me. I got my hat-trick in 2001 under his captaincy. I owe a lot to him.