So now we know. Harbhajan Singh is the rattler-in-chief of the Indian team. Whether he takes a clutch of wickets or not in the series against Australia, he is expected to keep the temperature up and provoke the opposition. We can dismiss his utterances as those of a man merely doing his job, or examine how pathetic they sound in the light of India's recent performances both at home and away.
"We will teach Australia how to play cricket," Harbhajan has been quoted as saying. Asked about his prediction for the series, he responded with, "India will win 4-0." In over eight decades of international cricket, India have never won a series by that margin.
There is something charming, almost child-like in this attitude. When India last played Australia, they were thrashed 4-0 (no Australian rattler-in-chief had predicted that), thus ending the careers of two of their major batsmen, the two who had tormented Australia most in recent years: Rahul Dravid and V V S Laxman. Having lost 0-4 to England earlier, that made it eight losses in a row against top opposition. Yet, when England came to India last year, it was widely believed that India would continue to be unbeatable at home. That dream too was shattered.