Lara heaps rich praises on Harbhajan

Published: Thursday, September 21, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Kuala Lumpur: Harbhajan Singh, who guided India to a win with his all-round performance drew rich praise from West Indies skipper Brian Lara, who said it was the offie's hunger for wickets that did them in.

Harbhajan Singh was the second highest scorer for India with 37 runs and then came back to take three wickets that helped India win and stay in the tournament.

Lara said he was impressed that Harbhajan kept an attacking line even when India was defending low score.

''Harbhajan is a very good attacking bowler in One-day cricket. He is always looking to take wickets even when he is taken for runs.He showed that again and was rewarded,'' said Lara after the match.

Harbhajan Singh said that after the early wickets taken by the seamers he knew the onus was on him to do the dual duty of bowling tight and take wickets as well.

''It is always good to attack. I feel the best way to get wicket is to stop runs yet bowl attacking line. Chances of getting wickets then increase a lot,'' said Harbhajan.

''If I get defensive, more runs would be scored off and chances of taking wicket also wane. This is my nature and this way I have been bowling,'' he added.

The offie also said that the team enjoyed playing their first full match after the West Indies tour and the tight win has raised the team's morale.

''It was a good win. At one point we had our backs to wall but we knew if we keep the West Indies batting under pressure for long they would cave in. I enjoyed a lot and am happy that I contributed with both bat and bowl,'' he said.

Harbhajan, who was instrumental in anchoring Indian innings with his crucial 78-run partnership with Sachin Tendulkar (65), hit two big sixes to start with and the settled down to give able support to the batting maestro. The bowler said it was no fluke as he had worked on his batting in the net.

''I have worked a lot on my batting in training sessions. I would like to continue same sort of effort at nets. I am getting the result in matches and that makes me happy,'' he said.

Harbhajan said that the team was now well geared to take on Australia on Friday. The team that wins the match would play West Indies in final.

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