Harbhajan Singh fit, raring to play third Test

Published: Monday, June 19, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Basseterre, St Kitts:Frustrated at being left out from the Test series against West Indies so far, Harbhajan Singh said he was confident of being selected for the third match here after having recovered from a slight groin strain, which he picked up before the second match in St Lucia.

''This was not an injury, it was just a small strain that was giving me some problem. But I am alright now, I am running well and fully fit to play if selected,'' Harbhajan said.

Harbhajan talked to spin legend Lance Gibbs in St Lucia and says the master spinner has given him some valuable tips.

''Gibbs was a great spinner. He has given me few ideas which I would try. If it suits me in the nets and I am able to adapt, I think that would be helpful,'' he said.

The off-spinner said he was prepared to bowl on any track and was hoping to contribute to Team India's efforts at winning the Test series.

''We are prepared for any track. We are up to any challenge. It's on the team management to decide to play with four or five bowlers but if given a chance I would contribute,'' Harbhajan said.

''It is difficult to say if I would have made a difference, but I am certainly longing to bowl. We have dominated them in the Test matches so far and would like to continue the same stuff and go with same confidence in the third Test,'' he added.

The Turbanator trained hard with the team at the beach session yesterday and hardly looked in any trouble. The Indian got back to training at the nets this morning.

Meanwhile, national selector VB Chandrashekhar, who is here with the team, said apart from bowling, fielding was a major concern for Rahul Dravid's men after they fumbled several catching chances in St Lucia.

''The catches that we have been putting down is a concern. Close catching needs to be sharper and we need to take the half chances,'' he said.

The former spinner said while Virender Sehwag had done a reasonably good job with the ball in the earlier matches, he could not be expected to bowl long spells, opening the door for Harbhajan's comeback.

''I am sure there is probably a need for somebody in the spin department. Unfortunately Harbhajan was injured in the last match.

For the third Test we need to look at a combination which is two seamers and two spinners. As of now, we look like playing two spinners,'' said the national selector.

The Indian team will decide the combination for the match after the arrival of the chairman of selectors Kiran More before the next match that starts on June 22.

Final selection will also depend on the pitch and West Indies are preparing a green top here. ICC pitch consultant Andy Atkinson said the pitch will assist pacers.

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