Jalandhar:Having aired his view that the Feroz Shah Kotla track was unsuitable for international matches, star Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh on Friday said the Motera pitch in Ahmedabad is not ideal for Test cricket either.
"The Ahmedabad pitch (which hosted the first India-Sri Lanka Test in November) was purely a batting pitch and bowlers - be it me, Amit Mishra or Muttiah Murlitharan - all were butchered by the batsmen, which was not at all justice to the bowlers," Harbhajan said in an interview.
The drawn match in Ahmedabad produced 1598 runs and just 21 wickets fell in five days of play.
"We should not play Test matches on such kind of wicket, because they will finish all the bowlers. They are not fit for any kind of cricket," he said, adding that pitches should be made keeping in mind a balance between the bat and ball.
"We should prepare such wickets for Test matches, where fast bowlers can get advantage on initial days and later on spinners can show their talent," said Harbhajan while giving full marks to the pitch at Cricket Club of India in Mumbai.
The 29-year-old spinner was happy that the Cricket Board was trying to arrange more Test matches this year, which he said would help India retain the top spot for longer time.
"It is great idea to play more Tests. Winning more Test matches this year, India can maintain top position in Test cricket. In 2009, we played only six Tests and attained world number one. I hope this year we will at least play 10 to 12 Test matches and by winning most of them we can strengthen our top position," he said.
In the past 14 months, India has risen from third in the ICC Test Championships to number one spot and Harbhajan feels the current side would be remembered as one of the best in Indian history.
"If you see the record, we are the best side. We defeated New Zealand at their home after 35 years, defeated Australia after 24 years, won Twenty20 World Cup. The team has achieved a lot and I think probably this is the best team which people will remember its contribution to the game in the country for long time," he said.
On the personal front, he was also happy with his contribution to the team which has become the top dog in Test cricket.
"I am satisfied with my performance. I took 29 wickets in the six Test matches in 2009, out of which six wickets against the New Zealand, which is always tough for any spinner on the pitches of NZ.
"In 2008 I took 64 wickets in 12 Tests and if we had played the same number in 2009 I would have matched the 2008 performance," he said adding that he would now concentrate on his fitness as the game has now become more demanding.
Asked if at any point of time in his career he had wanted captaincy, Harbhajan said, "Every player wants to become captain of the team. I know it is a very big responsibility, but you feel honoured when you the lead the team and yes, I will be honoured if captaincy comes to me in any stage of my career. As long as I am contributing to the success of the team I don't mind in accepting any challenge.
"But at the moment (M S) Dhoni is doing a great job and he is the most successful captain India has produced so far. Under Dhoni's captaincy, Indian team has emerged as number one team in Test cricket, for which credit goes to Dhoni," Harbhajan said.
He was also happy that youngsters in the team had done well whenever they were given chances and that would serve the country well in the 2011 World Cup.
"It is a great sign for Indian team that youngsters have shown their ability to win matches. In the fourth ODI against Sri Lanka Virat Kohli has proved his mettle to win the match. By the time of the World Cup, the youngsters will get more experience and our middle order will emerge stronger by then," he said.
Regarding the forthcoming Tri-series in Bangladesh, Harbhajan said, "We are not taking any team including Bangladesh. They (Bangladesh) have always performed well at their home and defeated Australia, England and even us." On the controversy over the 'whereabout' clause of the WADA, on which Indian players objected, he said that players have already apprised the Cricket Board on their reservations and issue was being taken up by the BCCI with ICC.