Champions League Twenty20: T20 or Tests, the art of picking wickets remains same, says Harbhajan Singh
For Harbhajan Singh, the Champions League Twenty20 is an opportunity to show the Indian selectors that he still has it in him to do what he does best, pick up wickets for his team.
Deprived of a place in the India 'A' squads, Harbhajan Singh finds himself with limited opportunities to stage a comeback, but the out-of-favour spinner is determined to make an impact in the upcoming Champions League Twenty20 to force his way into national reckoning.
Unlike some of the other seniors like Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan who have been drafted into the India 'A' team for the series against West Indies 'A' for their comeback trail, Harbhajan has no choice but to prove his worth in the T20 event.
"I am always happy to play any format, be it days cricket, one-dayers or T20. Whatever adjustments you make, the basic principles of success do not change. Whether it's Tests or T20s, the art of picking up wickets remains the same," Harbhajan said phone from Ahmedabad, where he is training with Mumbai Indians squad for CLT20.
"You can think about being restrictive in T20 format, whereas you can afford to experiment in Tests. But in both formats, you need to bowl those wicket-taking deliveries that win you matches. At this point of time, I am totally focussed on doing well for Mumbai Indians in the Champions League T20," the 33-year-old bowler, who played a pivotal role in MI's IPL triumph with 24 wickets, said.
Harbhajan, who has taken 694 international wickets across the three formats, reckons that he still has the hunger and the ability to perform at the highest level.
"There is a lot of hunger left in me to perform at the international level. But I would like to concentrate on what I have at hand. I would like to take one match at a time and give my hundred percent. My job is to perform in whatever matches I am playing. I would be happy to play more longer format games but would like to wait till Ranji Trophy for that," said Harbhajan, who last played against Australia in Hyderabad, in March this year.
Asked about whether he worked on anything specific during the off-season, Harbhajan stated, "I was in Jalandhar where I trained at my own academy under my childhood coach (Davinder Arora). I focussed on the basics and that's most important. Then I took a few days off and now I am again training with MI."
On whether he faced competition from current Team India regular Ravichandran Ashwin or the upcoming Pervez Rasool, Harbhajan said, "I only love to compete with myself. That has always been the case in my 14 years in international cricket and would like to keep it like that."
MI had won the Champions League Twenty20 in 2011 under his captaincy and those happy memories certainly give him a lot of boost.
"Winning the Champions League T20 in 2011 was a great feeling. Whether CLT20 or IPL, any victory gives you that confidence. But that's past and I would like to focus on the present. I am happy that we won then but to win this time, we need to perform even better. That's our endeavour."
Asked whether he watched one of his closest friend Yuvraj Singh's breathtaking century against West Indies A, Harbhajan said he did not watch cricket on television.
"I don't watch cricket on television. It's not about Yuvi but I have never liked to watch the highlights of my past matches also. May be when I become a retired cricketer, I would love to sit back and reflect on my achievements and may be watch those recordings," he concluded.