Bhajji warns India will hit back

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Published: Friday, December 17, 2010, 13:11 [IST]
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Bhajji warns India will hit back

India may have been dealt a severe blow by hosts South Africa on the first day of the first Test in the Rainbow Nation, but off-break Harbhajan Singh is convinced that his side has the fire-power to strike back in the match.

The latter-order batsman who played a useful hand of 27 with the bat in India's slump to 136/9, acknowledged that the South Africans were somewhat fortunate to win the toss, as bowling first on a damp wicket at Centurion's Supersports Park would have been anyone's call.

"It was a bad day for us. Losing toss was the most crucial blow as the wicket was clearly damp. Ball was doing quite a bit. It was swinging and cutting too," Harbjhajan told reporters after the match. "But I would like to say that still the match is not over. We need to collect as many runs as possible and then try and bowl well to restrict them in the 1st innings".

Asked about his weird dismissal, Harbhajan said his run-out was very disheartening as he was batting defiantly. "I was very upset when I got run out. Bat struck in the grass and Boucher was lucky with his back flick throw," he observed. I was getting good feel of the ball on my bat. I was looking to score runs and not just try to survive."

Batting at 27, Harbhajan was tardy in turning for the second run after Dhoni drove a delivery through cover. Still he had almost made it before his bat fell from his hand a smidgeon before the crease and wicketkeeper Mark Boucher under-armed the throw onto the stumps.

The 30-year-old spinner also showered praise on South African bowlers for exploiting the seaming conditions well. "Though wicket was good to bowl, but I would like to give some credit to their bowlers. They bowled in good areas and took all the advantage of good helping wicket," he said.

Put into bat, India were reduced to 71/6 in just 24.4 overs but Harbhajan was not ready to accept that the visitors' preparation was not up to speed. "I think our preparation was good enough," he said. Unexpected rains have spoiled our plans as we lost toss and had to bat first. Don't worry we will come back in this test match."


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