Harbhajan Singh always plays because he “wants” and he “goes,” claims the veteran off-spinner, as combative at 40 as he was in his prime and least embarrassed by people questioning his willingness to continue. One of India’s biggest spinners is back in IPL this year with the Kolkata Knight Riders after skipping last season for CSK in the United Arab Emirates and now wants to “enjoy every moment of what’s left of cricket “in him.
“A lot of people think ‘Bhai yeh kyun khel raha hain?’ Arrey bhai yeh unki soch hai, meri naahi. Meri soch hai ki main abhi khel sakta hoon, toh main khelunga play), ”Harbhajan told PTI in an interview.
“I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. My intention is to play well, to enjoy my time there in the middle and to play cricket always gives me that satisfaction.
“I set myself a standard and if I don’t meet it, I don’t need anyone else but I will blame myself. I have to ask myself if I made the optimal effort that was necessary”, a- he declared. just before entering the team bubble.
The owner of more than 700 international wickets is pragmatic about his approach to the game in his 23rd professional season, having made his test debut in 1998.
“Yes, I’m not 20 anymore and I won’t be training like I did back then. But yes, at 40 I know I’m in good shape and will definitely do whatever it takes to be successful at this level.
“The wait will always be there and the responsibilities that were there when I played for India will remain,” said one of the most successful bowlers in IPL history with 150 scalps.
Despite this being his first experience in a bio-bubble, Harbhajan has made no secret of his apprehensions as to why he did not go to the UAE last year?
“Last year when the IPL took place, COVID-19 in India was at its peak. I was concerned about my family and also about the strict quarantine in India after my return. But this year it is happening in India and now we have got used to the new normal.
“The vaccines have arrived. It was also my family who pushed. My wife (Geeta) told me I should go play,” said Harbhajan, who is expected to become a father for the second time in July.
But he admitted that not having played much cricket in the meantime made a difference when it came to auction dynamics.
“These questions are being asked because I haven’t played a lot of cricket lately, so the teams are a bit defensive at auction and they don’t want to bid for me.
“But let me remind you that when I did well for CSK in IPL 2019, I hadn’t played national cricket. I came to the camp, got ready and got into the game. my level and my experience, I know what to be finished.
“I don’t need to play domestic cricket for Punjab and stop a young talent from blossoming. This boy needs this chance more than I do,” he said.
The Kolkata Knight Riders spin department doesn’t inspire the utmost confidence, with Kuldeep Yadav having a prolonged bad patch and Varun Chakravarthy’s fitness ethics are questioned time and time again.
During the nets, would you wait for Kuldeep to come and ask for your advice or would you volunteer if you find something that needs a course correction?
“Why will I wait for Kuldeep to come to me? I have never had such an ego in my life. If I see anything that needs to be said, I will go to him and maybe give him a suggestion on what he could do better. That’s what older people are for. “
“If I see something that needs to be said to him that will help him bowling, I’ll tell him that myself. That’s what seniors do.”
The team’s main owner, Shah Rukh Khan, had called Harbhajan right after the auction to welcome him to the KKR family and expects to see him with the IPL trophy.
“We have a good team. T20 is made up of three players in a team, maybe three, clicking on that day. You see the Mumbai Indians are a team that has all their bases covered but still are It could be a Rahul Tripathi or a Nitish Rana can win it for us. “
He is at a stage in his career where he has to do a self-assessment after each season.
“Every season I introspect whether I want to play or not. If I feel like I’m done I’ll say ‘thank you very much’. If I feel I’m fine you’ll see me next year.” he said, disconnecting with a warm laugh.
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