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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Harbhajan boasts India will blank Australia 4-0

Harbhajan boasts India will blank Australia 4-0

Last updated on: January 31, 2013 16:40 IST

'A 4-0 whitewash is a real possibility'

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Harbhajan Singh, who had some memorable performances against Australia, started the game of one-upmanship on Thursday by declaring that India will thrash Michael Clarke's men 4-0 in the upcoming Test series, starting February 22.

"This is a young Australian team. They are even getting beaten on their home grounds consistently. We should defeat them easily, and a 4-0 whitewash is a real possibility," he declared, one the sidelines of a promotional event in Delhi.

The ace off-spinner, who is in the Rest of India squad for the Irani Cup tie against Ranji Trophy champions Mumbai, is optimistic about being selected for the upcoming Australia series.

"I have bowled a number of overs in the Ranji series and am feeling good about my rhythm. I am trying to utilize whatever opportunities of match practice that I am able to get. I am hopeful that I will make the cut for the Australia Test series."


Image: Harbhajan Singh
Photographs: Getty Images

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'Ponting was a class act'

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Comparing past Australian teams with the present one, Harbhajan opined that Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting's units had players who were match-winners in their own right.

"They had 11 champion players. Right from Justin Langer, Matthew Hayden to Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne, [Glenn] McGrath... they were unbeatable as a unit."

Harbhajan feels that the recently-retired Ponting, with whom he was involved in numerous on-field spats, will be missed by the current inexperienced Aussies.

"Ponting was a class act. It will be difficult for the Australians to replace him," he said.


Image: Ricky Ponting in discussion with Sachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan
Photographs: Getty Images

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'England played better cricket overall'

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Talking about the recently-concluded India-England Test series, which India lost 1-2, he said blaming the pitches for the team's poor performance is not the correct way to move forward.

"We should not always blame the pitch for our bad performance. The England team played better cricket overall; they played our spinners better, their spinners bowled better than us," he added.

Having led Punjab to the semi-finals of the Ranji Trophy this season, he felt the pitches were better for seamers this time, but there wasn't much help for the spinners.

"Seamers on first day tracks got wickets, but, as the matches progressed, even on day three and four, due to green-tops, the ball wasn't gripping on to the surface. Such pitches do not give the spinners any advantage, and even on the last day they struggled to get wickets. In the end, it became easier for batsmen only," he said.


Image: Harbhajan Singh
Photographs: Getty Images
Tags: England , India , Punjab

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'Being captain took a lot out of me'

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Explaining why he relinquished the captaincy of the Mumbai Indians franchisee in the Indian Premier League, he said, "Being a captain is an added responsibility and it took a lot out of me.

"At present, I just wanted to focus on my game, and hence I decided to give someone else a chance. I wish all the luck to the next skipper."


Image: Harbjana Singh in Mumbai Indians colours
Photographs: Getty Images

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