Zimbabwe in India, Feb-Mar 2002
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India won by 101 runs
India 333/6 (50 ov)
Zimbabwe 232 (42.1/48 ov)

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Caught & Bowled Over

Harbhajan Singh: Every wicket is important
Special Correspondent - 03 March 2002

The crumbling fourth day wicket at the Feroz Shah Kotla saw Harbhajan Singh at his best. Bowling with guile and skill, Indiaís premier off-spinner claimed six wickets to pave the way for a possible Indian clean-sweep. Harbhajan spoke to the press at the end of the dayís play. Excerpts from his press-conference:

Today must have been very pleasing day for you?

If you perform well for the team, you are obviously happy. I am happy because India wanted early wickets and I picked up four in no time. Every wicket is important and I enjoyed myself. It may not have been my best effort but if I can help in India winning the Test, I should have no grudges. Also, itís not everyday that you get five wickets.

Some people were thinking you might take all the ten when you picked up the first four, like Anil Kumble here three years agoÖ

No, no. That sort of thing can happen only once in a while. And Anil bhai is the right person to have that record with him. Even today, he was very helpful, bowling from the other end and keeping pressure on the Zimbabwe batsmen. He forced them to commit mistakes and it helped me also.

You mean you enjoy bowling with Kumble?

Yes, he has so much experience. He would tell you about the batsmanís weaknesses. Itís easy to bowl when Anil bhai is bowling from the other end.

Once you picked up wickets, you got on top of their batsmen. Did you plan differently?

The credit goes to Dada (Saurav Ganguly). When I was bowling from the pavilion end, it wasn't helping me too much. It was only after switching to Delhi Gate end that it really helped. But the decision was Saurav Ganguly's, who suggested that I might get turn and bounce from that end. He was right as the wicket was exactly how I wanted.

Your caught-and-bowled was superb. Did you know the ball had not touched the ground?

Yes. First I thought I had dropped it but when I fell, the ball remained in my hand all the time. I was sure I had caught it cleanly.

Itís not a big target but India are also under pressureÖ

We lost two wickets late today but I think with Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid around it should not be a big problem. We should win tomorrow quite comfortably. India have played very well in this series and the result should satisfy us all.

© CricInfo


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