This was an important game for me: Bhajji
Colombo, Sep 23: Harbhajan Singh, once an integral part of the Indian team, was out of the side over a year. However, the first chance he got to wear India colours again, the ace off-spinner claimed four wickets for 12 runs against England in the ICC World T20 to announce his comeback. His spell was crucial during India’s thumping 90-run victory ahead of the Super Eights stage of the competition.
Speaking after receiving the Man-of-the-Match award, Harbhajan talked about his journey back to the international side.
On his brilliant comeback
First of all I would like to thank God for giving me the opportunity to play for India again. It’s been a hard year for me. I have been out of the side due to injury and then I got dropped. The other boys were playing well, so it was really tough for me to make a comeback. God is great; He has given me four wickets today, and I am back.
On his dream comeback spell
It was an important game for me. I wasn’t playing international cricket for about a year or so. So, getting a wicket off the first or the second ball obviously gives you the confidence and brings you back in the game. It was much needed at that point of time. I am glad that everything went my way today. I would like to thank God and this award is for my mom and for people close to me who have stuck by me through tough times.
On specific areas that he has worked on
I have been working on a few things. In Twenty20 cricket it is important to read the game. I tried to cut down my run-up a bit. I was running too fast and at the same time I was not sometimes able to control the ball the way I wanted to. So, I just tried bowling with a short run-up today and a very slow sort of run-up. It worked today.
On the support from teammates and the importance of donning the blue jersey again
This is everything for me. Without this blue shirt, without playing for India, I don’t know what else I can do. I would like to thank everyone for supporting me. And a special thanks to the boys for supporting me in my tough times. Even when I was not in the side they were in touch with me and asking me what I was doing when I was playing for Essex. I would like to thank people from Essex as well for having me over there. I played some cricket there and got my confidence back. It has been a great night for me. I would like to continue to work hard and win games for my team.
On playing in Essex
I played in different formats over there and by bowling lot of overs in England I got my confidence back. I got some wickets under my belt. Once you get wickets you start believing that you have a few more overs left in you and you can do it again. It was the right thing that I did, going and playing County Cricket. I got the rewards for my hard work.
On the reason for playing specifically in County Cricket
It was important for me to bowl lots of overs because there was hardly any cricket in India after the IPL. So for me, to make a comeback I had to go play somewhere and show some performances. So, England was probably the right sort of place to play cricket. County Cricket is not easy. Sometimes you have to play for six days continuously and its tough work. I bowled lots of overs and got my rhythm back and my confidence back. Playing cricket is important. Whether you play in England or Australia and whatever format you get to play you just continue to play when you get the chance. In my case I wanted to play lots of overs; so that was the right move for me.