Harbhajan's Test place under scrutiny - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Harbhajan's Test place under scrutiny

By Jim Morton 08/12/2003 08:50:57 PM Comments (0)

Indian captain Sourav Ganguly has sent a blunt message to his premier spinner Harbhajan Singh - rediscover your match-winning form or return to being tour towel boy.

The linchpin of India's 2001 home series victory over Australia, taking 32 wickets in three Tests, turned into the Aussies run-a-meter in the first Test at the Gabba, collecting unflattering match figures of 1-169.

Unlike the low spinning wickets of the sub-continent, Australia's pitches have given Harbhajan no joy on tour and he failed to make any impact during the drawn match.

The only wicket he took in 35 overs on the bouncy Gabba surface was that of master-blaster Matthew Hayden, and the dismissal could as much be attributed to the opener's situation as the off-spinner's nous.

On 99 and after smacking the two previous balls to fielders, Hayden swept Harbhajan strongly to Virender Sehwag, one of two fielders on the leg-side boundary, who hardly moved for a straight-forward catch.

It provided great joy for the tourists but it hardly softened the blow as Ganguly made a point of singling the 23-year-old out in his post-match press conference.

"I don't think he's bowling well enough," the skipper said.

"He can bowl better than this and we need him to bowl better if we are to be successful.

"He's a class act and he's just not getting the wickets.

"As much as everybody else in the team, I want him to do well because he's a wicket-taker and I hope he finds form in the next Test."

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