Harbhajan declares himself fit for Nagpur Test

Updated: 05 November 2008 09:05 IST

Fit Harbhajan Singh said Kumble and Ganguly's retirement would not take their focus off winning the series 2-0.

Harbhajan declares himself fit for Nagpur Test


Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who missed the drawn third Test against Australia because of a toe injury, on Tuesday declared himself "fully fit" to play in the crucial fourth and final match from Thursday. "I am fully fit," said Harbhajan after the team's practice session at the old VCA stadium.

Harbhajan said the entire team was looking forward to winning the series 2-0 by clinching the Test and would not let the retirement of Anil Kumble and Sourav Ganguly to distract their focus.

"Our focus will be there to win the series 2-0 by winning the Test here. We are all looking forward to playing at the new stadium. We intend to go and practice there tomorrow," he said after both the teams practiced at the old venue as the VCA officials wanted their own focus to remain undivided and for security reasons.

About the break-up of his excellent combination with veteran leg-spinner Kumble following the latter's retirement after the third Test at Delhi, the combative bowler said he would definitely miss bowling alongside his long-time comrade-at-arms who has grabbed over 600 Test wickets.

"I have always enjoyed bowling with Anil bhai who is a great bowler. I will miss him definitely. But I'm sure whoever replaces him would be good enough and will perform well in course of time," he said.

About the game which is coming up, Harbhajan said it was a very important game and the entire team was eager to play good cricket and win it.

"It's a very important game for us. We all want to play top class cricket and win it and with it the series 2-0. We are not worried about the new wicket and stadium," Harbhajan said.

The Test is to be played at the newly built stadium in Jamtha, 16 kms from here. Harbhajan said he did want to complete 300 wickets at Mohali, his home ground, but would be happy to complete the feat at Nagpur.

"I would have loved to complete 300 wickets in Mohali which did not happen. But I would be happy to get it here." The offie said speedster Zaheer Khan and Ganguly missed Tuesday's practice to rest in the team hotel. "They wanted to take rest. They are fatigued," he said.

The Jalandhar player said Kumble and Ganguly would be missed by the team after the series and the duo would be difficult to replace but added young players who replace them would get the chance to prove their worth.

"Obviously, two great players are retiring. I have enjoyed playing with both Anil bhai and Sourav (who is to call it quits at the end of the November 6-10 Test here). I have played a lot of cricket and learnt a lot from them. They are great players and it will be difficult to get them replaced adequately," he said.

"At the same time, it gives young players the opportunity to prove themselves," he said.

Asked about whether the team members have planned farewell to Kumble, who is also here, and Ganguly, Harbhajan Singh first said the Cricket Board was taking care of it.

On being pressed further he said, "Yes, we will give them a fitting farewell, but I want it to be kept very private."

Topics : Cricket
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