Chennai: Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin made a fervent plea that Harbhajan Singh be left alone as he sought to downplay his own status as a replacement option in the Indian Test squad while stating that he would bide his time.
Harbhajan, who has been struggling with his form and fitness, pulled out of the recent ODI series against England while Ashwin was flown in as a replacement.
"There is a fine line. I can comment saying I want to play Test cricket. Anybody would want to, as it is the pinnacle. He (Harbhajan) has been one of the spearheads of the Indian bowling attack that has helped the team secure No.1 status in Tests.
"I think it is fair enough to say that we have to get off his back and let him be himself. Whenever my time comes, I will take it with both hands," said Ashwin here Monday as the Chennai Super Kings made time for the media ahead of the Champions League T20 tournament.
Fielding questions on the Indian team`s disastrous tour of England this summer, Ashwin admitted to the morale being low and also a lot of cricket being played, but said as a professional cricketer, one must adapt and tend to one`s physical condition.
"Definitely, a lot of cricket is being played, but it is part and parcel of the game. If you give me a month off, there is no guarantee that I won`t get injured in that time span. So it is completely about how you look after yourself, how you manage yourself.
"To be frank, the confidence level (in the Indian team) was low. But I can say that the team fought to win every match even more than it had during the World Cup. Everybody competed fiercely.
"But more than the England players, we had to compete with a lot of other factors, such as rain, the wicket... the outfield became very wet after the rains. We were very confident of taking them on, but certain things didn`t go our way. Let’s just say luck didn`t work in our favour," he said.