New Delhi: Overwhelmed with Kuldeep Yadav’s hat-trick against Australia, Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh who had achieved a similar feat in the 2001 Test Series at the same venue and against the same opposition, believes that this feat will go a long way in making the young spinner a core member of the Indian set-up.
“For a young spinner, when you get a hat-trick early in your career, your confidence shoots up to a different level. This is a milestone which each and every cricketer savours for the rest of his life,” said Harbhajan as quoted by PTI.
Recalling memories of the feat that made him a household name in Indian cricket the 37-year-old Harbhajan said, “Wahi opposition, wahi lamha, wahi ground aur ek spinner jiska age bhi utna (The same opposition, same ground, another spinner of same age). Somehow as I was watching Kuldeep bowl, my mind travelled back to that afternoon (2001 March) at the Eden Gardens. It is a great achievement.”
Harbhaja, just like VVS Laxman and Rohit Sharma has had a love affair with the historical Eden Gardens and according to him, “Eden Gardens never lets anyone return empty-handed. And this achievement will forever be etched in the history books.”
At the same time the former Indian international also felt that it will be hard task for both Jadeja and Ashwin to make a comeback to the national team. “It’s always a difficult thing. If your current two spinners are doing well, then it becomes difficult for the senior spinners to make a comeback,” said Harbhajan who has more than 700 international scalps.
“At the moment, these two boys (Kuldeep and Chahal) are really doing well. For Jaddu and Ashwin, it will be an onerous task to make a comeback in the ODI side,” he added.
Talking about the new Kuldeep-Chahal combination that has been doing wonders for India in the past two series, the off-spinner observed that it is their ability to extract something from the pitch adding to their variation of pace through the air, is what gives them the x-factor required at the highest level.
However, the World Cup winning cricketer refused to make a prediction of who will make it to the World Cup squad. “World Cup is quite far away to be very honest but they are doing really well and I am really proud of them,” said india’s second leading wicket taker.
“Let’s all wait and watch, how far these guys can go and continue doing well for India. I wish them all the luck and hope both grow from strength to strength,” he concluded.
Wouldn’t have got a hat-trick had the ball spun: Kuldeep
Young Kuldeep Yadav who created history on Thursday, by becoming only the third Indian to take a hat-trick in ODI’s feels that had he bowled a normal spin delivery he would not have completed the achievement.
“For the hat-trick ball, I don’t think I would have got a wicket if the ball spun in. The only way in that scenario would have been a bat-pad opportunity. There was a slip in place so I chose the wrong ‘un,” Kuldeep told teammate Bhuvneshwar Kumar during a interview conducted by the bcci.tv.
The 22-year-old dismissed Matthew Wade, Ashton Agar and Pat Cummins in successive deliveries to achieve hat-trick, a feat achieved by only Kapil Dev and Chetan Sharma earlier.
Kuldeep knows the Eden pitch better any of his compatriots, having played for the KKR franchise in the past three seasons of the IPL. He believes that his familiarity with the field further helped the cause.
He said, “Yes, I have been playing at the Eden Gardens for a few years now as it is KKR’s home ground. The pitch is familiar. It felt like home ground to me today as well when I stepped out and that is why I wanted to leave a big imprint.”