New Delhi:Harbhajan Singh does not doubt mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis' potentials but the star off-spinner believes it is old trickster Muttiah Muralitharan who would pose a bigger threat for the Indian batsmen in the forthcoming Test series.
Harbhajan heaps praise on Mendis, who ran through India's famed ODI batting order in the Asia Cup final in Karachi, and said it was an extraordinary display of quality spin bowling.
"It was a treat to watch Mendis bowl during the Asia Cup final," Harbhajan said in a TV interview.
"The deliveries with which he got Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma and even RP Singh were outstanding. I have seen people doing this with a tennis ball but it is incredible that he is doing it with a cricket ball. There is so much to learn from Mendis," said Harbhajan.
But still it's too early to compare Mendis with Murali and the old warhorse would create more problem for the Indian side, believes Harbhajan.
"It will be Muralitharan who will pose a bigger challenge and do well in the series and not Mendis. You cannot compare Mendis and Murali. Oh, come on, Murali has been doing it for so many years whereas Mendis has just started," he reasoned.
The aggressive offie himself would have to live up to the expectation in the series, to prove that he remains the same potent force despite spending the last three months in the wilderness following the slap-gate episode.
"I am ready for it. In fact to sit on the sidelines has made me hungrier and I am willing to play any role that the team wants me to," said Harbhajan, who remains out of action since slapping India teammate S Sreesanth after an Indian Premier League Match.
One after another controversy has stalked Harbhajan but the offie says he now wants people to remember him for all the right reasons.
"I committed a mistake and I admitted it. I think we all need to move on from there and look ahead. From now on, people should remember me for all the right reasons and not controversies," he said.
Looking back at the slap-gate issue and its aftermath, Harbhajan said, "That period was really tough for me and I didn't know where I was heading. I think God helped me come out of that. He's been very kind."