Pitches at home should suit our strength: Harbhajan

April 3rd, 2008 - 10:02 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Harbhajan Singh
By Avishek Roy
Ahmedabad, April 3 (IANS) Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh Thursday said that the home curators should prepare pitches keeping in mind India’s strength to give ammunition to its own bowlers and not the visiting team. Harbhajan, however, held Indian batsmen responsible for the pathetic show Thursday. The hosts were bundled out for a paltry 76 run in 20 overs by South African pacers in their first innings, before the visitors took a healthy lead of 147 runs with six wickets in hand.

“Our strength is spin but in the recent past our tracks are being changed which are producing different results. Either the match ends in a draw or it is going against us. I feel it should not happen like this. The home advantage should be given to the home team,” Harbhajan told reporters at the post-day press conference.

“Last time when we played here it was red soil. But now it has been changed and there is grass on the pitch. The red soil was not there in Chennai wicket also. Every team plays on its strength and we should do it,” said Harbhajan who took three wickets for 49 runs Thursday.

Harbhajan denied reports that skipper Anil Kumble was unhappy with the curator’s strategy to leave grass on the track.

“I cannot say whether Kumble asked the curator to remove the grass. But if the curator does not want, nothing can be done. Whatever wicket we have got we will have to play on it,” he said.

Harbhajan said the wicket is not made for spinners, as it is giving no assistance to them. “It is a green top. It is not turning at all. I cannot say how it will behave tomorrow.”

The 27-year-old spinner also came hard on the batsmen for not applying themselves on the track.

“It would have been a good wicket to bat on after the first session and we should have batted much better. We should have played according to the wicket. Our batsmen should not have gone there and swung the bat like we did in Chennai. We got out to some casual strokes. It is a different track and we had to play accordingly. As a batsmen I also share the blame,” said Harbhajan.

Asked whether India can make a comeback from the situation, Harbhajan recollected the famous 2001 Eden Gardens Test where India beat Australia after being asked to follow on.

“It was one of the bad days. Everything went wrong for us. But we will have to look forward. We have done that in Eden Gardens against Australia where we came out from very difficult situation and we should look back at it.”

“It will be great team effort if we can pull back the match from here. We can save the match if we take few early wickets tomorrow. We will come out with different plans tomorrow. If we can get two quick wickets early, the tail will be exposed and then we will have to finish them,” he said.

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