New Delhi:Every time people write him off after a slight slump in form, Harbhajan Singh bounces back with renewed vigour and vengeance.
Concerns were expressed about the off-spinner's diminishing strike rate in the last couple of seasons, even though he had been highly economical. He has now rectified the shortcoming. To be fair, he has also been dragged into the news for all the wrong reasons and that has also deflected focus from his job.
He is back as the spearhead of the Indian spin attack and, in the absence of Anil Kumble, has spun India to a series-levelling win against South Africa in the third Test in Kanpur.
He was adjudged the Man of the Series with a haul of 19 wickets in three Tests.
Harbhajan is left alone to carry the burden in shorter versions of the game now that Kumble has quit One-day cricket. Harbhajan felt Kumble's retirement had created a vacuum and the hunt for young spinners should start in right earnest. At the same time, he said, spinners take time to mature and so patience is the key.
"There is no denying the fact that a big vacuum has been created after Anil's retirement from One-day cricket. But I am sure good spinners will emerge and we will have to nurture them," Harbhajan said.
Harbhajan says there are quite a few spinners in domestic cricket with potential to make big.
"There are youngsters like Piyush Chawla, Pragyan Ojha and Iqbal Abdullah, who are really talented. But we have to give them more time to grow."
Harbhajan was especially impressed with Chawla, with whom he played the third Test at Kanpur against South Africa.
"He is maturing and is bowling cleverly. I think he is a good example of how we should blood spinners. Chawla was given time and now he is blossoming."
The off-spinner, who was the first Indian to take a Test hat-trick, was also satisfied with his performance and said the experience he gained over a decade in international cricket was proving handy.
"I have been in international cricket for over a decade and I think that experience is coming in handy now. I know what should be the exact length to bowl at on different pitches," he said.
Harbhajan said he did not bother much about the number of wickets he bagged in a match, he was only interested in bowling well.