Galle: Indian coach Gary Kirsten has admitted that it had been a big gamble to play ace off-spinner Harbhajan Singh in the first Test against Sri Lanka.
Harbhajan was suffering with flu while India played its warm-match and he was not 100 per cent for the match but with the Indian bowling looking very ordinary without his services Kirsten had to include his as the team needed him.
"Yes, it was a gamble, but if he hadn't played, we would have been really inexperienced in our bowling," said Kirsten.
Kirsten also added said Harbhajan is a gutsy cricketer and Harbhajan himself wanted to be a part of the opening Test team.
Harbhajan went wicket-less but was able to contain the Sri Lankan batting along with debutant Abhimanyu Mithun as the rest of the Indian bowling looked very ordinary. Ishant Sharma lacked that fire-power he once had two years back, Pragyan Ojha looked completely wayward and nearly went for 4 runs an over in his 17 overs.
Harbhajan bowled 17 overs and gave away 41 runs with three maiden overs in his spell as first day of play was stopped due to bad lights.