After spearheading the Indian attack to a sensational victory in the second Test against South Africa at the Eden Garden in Kolkata on Thursday, offie Harbhajan Singh thanked his former skipper and spin partner Anil Kumble for his pep talk and tips on field placements.
“Anil-bhai will probably always be the one who will call me and tell me that there is nothing wrong with you, it is just that you guys are creating sensational stories and calling Kumble to ask what is wrong with Harbhajan,” the off-spinnner said at the post-match media meet after taking 15/123 in the second Test here.
“He just told me to be the way you are and you will be bowling well. You have taken 300 plus wicket and it doesn’t come through fluke,” Harbhajan said.
Kumble, India’s highest wicket taker with 619 scalps in 132 Test matches, also advised Harbhajan to play within himself confidently.
“You know what you can do and I have played so much with you. You just have to be confident and it is just a matter of time before you will get the wickets,” Harbhajan quoted Kumble as telling him.
“And he was pretty much right. I would like to give him big thanks for the advice and even on the field settings, that for particular batsmen like Jacques Kallis I should have a particular kind of field. Thank you to Anil-bhai for helping me out,” Harbhajan said.
Asked whether leggie Amit Mishra can fill up Kumble’s place, Harbhajan said: “Those are big shoes to fill. Anil-bhai was fantastic from the other end and (Amit) Mishra is still very new and young in international cricket.”
Harbhajan was confident that Mishra will have a long stint in the Indian team.
“He is learning everyday but he bowled well in the second innings and even in the first innings. He is improving with every game and I am sure he will play for India for a long time,” he added.