Durrani backs Harbhajan to do well against England

Mumbai: Former India all-rounder Salim Durrani has come in support of under fire Harbhajan Singh, expressing confidence that the off-spinner would come good in the ongoing Test series against England.

"He has been a great bowler for India. There are rough patches in your career and he is going through a bad patch now. In the first Test (against England at Lord`s) he didn`t bowl well. But you never know he may run through the English team in the second innings of the second Test," Durrani said on the sidelines of a prize distribution event on Friday night.

"Bad patches are always there. These things happen. That doesn`t mean that one should suspect his ability," he added.

The 76-year-old, who had taken 75 wickets with his left-arm spin in 29 Tests, urged Harbhajan not to get bogged down by the pressure of expectations.

"He has to keep his cool and stick to his job," said Durrani.

Harbhajan, who has been facing flak for his lackluster show with the ball, has taken 405 wickets in 97 Tests (before the ongoing Trent Bridge Test) and Durrani said that he has got the talent to bounce back.

"He has got the talent and now he is a senior cricketer. He has taken over 400 wickets."

The 31-year-old came under the scanner after finishing with the figures of 1-218 in the Lord`s Test, which India lost by 196 runs.

Durrani, considered the architect of India`s maiden Test series triumph over England in 1961-62, felt that the criticism of the team after the loss at Lord`s was too harsh and expressed confidence that Mahendra Singh Dhoni`s men would make a strong comeback in the four-match rubber.

"The criticism of the team was too harsh. I`m also a little bit hurt about it. This is (after all) a game. Of course everybody, including Dhoni`s boys, were disappointed after we lost the first Test. England played very well...bowled well, fielded well and batted well and we could not cope with their bowling.”

"But now it’s a different story in the second Test. We are fighting back. The second Test is at an interesting stage and India have 200 per cent chance of winning it," said the stylish left-hander, who scored 1,202 runs at an average of 25.

Durrani, one of the most popular cricketers of his time, who was known to hit a `six on demand`, also defended skipper Dhoni, whose defensive tactics in the third Test at Dominica against the West Indies earlier this month and at Lord`s in the last Test match against England were criticised.

"Such things happen. You can`t keep things intact forever. I think he is a mature captain. He has been doing well. I hope he will come back strongly," he added.


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