''Of course I wanted to be there. I wish I was there. Koi bhi cricketer chahta hai kee woh zyaade se zyaada game khele but jo cheez nahin ho sakti woh nahin ho sakti (Every cricketer wants to play as many games as possible but that is not in my hands),'' Harbhajan told NDTV on the sidelines of a preparatory camp ahead of Test series against Lanka.
''I had to watch it on TV. It would be nice to be playing and contributing to my team's success but....''
When asked about his passion for the game and how he would control his aggression in the future, the temperamental Bhajji said that he became too involved while playing for the country and his desire to win sometimes compelled him to go over the top.
''I never plan to get into trouble. It just..... I'm very passionate about my game and I just love playing for my country.
I get too involved, I want to win, I want to win each and every game and I want to deliver in difficult situations.
''I want to be there for the team, I want to be there for the nation when it's required and then when you get so involved sometimes before you realise it, you do something which gets you into trouble,'' he said.
''I've learned a lot from whatever's happened and I can promise that I'll still play with a lot of passion,'' he added.
Commenting on his strength to emerge stronger from each controversy, Bhajji said, “I don't know. I just feel there is some power that allows me to deal with these sorts of things. When I was just 19, I had to get a biomechanics test. It happened again in 2004-05.
It was very tough for me to get out of all that. But I just take things as they come and pray to god that he should help me in difficult situations.
On the ups and downs in his career and regrets if any, Bhajji said: “There are a lot of things I would've done differently. But we're all human, and we all make mistakes and we learn from them. But few things.... agar mere ko gussa kam aaye toh usse kaafi kuch solve ho jayega. But at the end of the day, you have to think before you do and take your time. I will learn."
The temparamental off-spinner, who was banned after the 'slapgate' incident during the Indian Premier League (IPL), said he had learnt his lesson from that unsavoury incident.
''Learning lesson ek hi tha... that you have to be calm, very calm and you have to control. You don't have to show your anger, frustration. You just have to be calm and take things very, very calmly,'' Harbhajan stated.
Catch the full interview on NDTV 24x7 at 6:30 pm, Saturday.