Harbhajan unperturbed by fast tracks in NZ

On a high after taking 3 wickets in the first ODI against New Zealand, Harbhajan said he was unperturbed by the fact that NZ tracks do not assist spinners.

updated: March 04, 2009 10:38 IST
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On a high after taking three wickets in four successive deliveries in the first cricket one-dayer against New Zealand, Indian offie Harbhajan said he was unperturbed by the fact that tracks here would not assist spinners.

"I think it is all in the mind. Your role definitely changes on different sorts of wickets in different conditions. If they are not suiting you, then there is a bit of change in your role in the team," Harbhajan told reporters here.

The spinner explained that he had greater responsibility on turning tracks but on fast wickets his role changes to restricting runs and felt a performance like Tuesday's was a bonus.

"When we play on spinning tracks, it is my responsibility to get all the wickets and do well for the team. As a specialist spinner my role is surely to take wickets here as well and win games.

"Sometimes when the conditions are not in your favour, you just have to bowl well and restrict runs so that it creates pressure on the opposition which can be cashed upon by our seamers operating from the other end. At the same time if you can attack and take two to three wickets, it means you have done your job," he added.

The 28-year-old star spinner had a chance to notch up a hattrick when he removed Martin Guptill and Neil Broom off successive deliveries before Kylie Mills blocked one only to perish in the next ball.

Harbhajan, though, said he did not regret missing the hattrick.

"It would have been nice to get that hattrick, but I am still happy that I got three wickets in four balls. There was nothing specific happening in my mind after I took those two wickets off successive balls. When on a hattrick, I think, I bowled the right ball again but he got away," he said.

Harbhajan oozed confidence that India, who lost 0-2 in the Twenty20 matches, could go on to win the five-match ODI series.

"If we stick to our plans, we have a great chance of winning the series. The goal, personal as well as the team's, is to win the series," Harbhajan said.

"We have to play well. New Zealand are a good side. But the conditions are definitely different compared to what we have faced earlier on. We are looking forward to playing some positive cricket like we did yesterday," he added.

Harbhajan also expressed relief that India did not tour Pakistan after hearing about the terror attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore.

"Whatever has happened to the Sri Lankan cricketers is terrible. It is shocking. If they wanted to attack, they could have attacked anybody. We were scheduled to to be in Pakistan. Good the government cancelled the tour," said Harbhajan.