Game evenly poised, need to bat well: Harbhajan

Mohali: India need to bat well tomorrow to give its bowlers a chance to put pressure on Australians in their second innings as the first Test is evenly poised at end of day two, India spinner Harbhajan Singh said on Saturday.

India are 110 for two, still 318 runs behind the Australian first innings total at stumps on second day.

“I can’t really say who is on top at the moment, but the game looks evenly poised. We just need to bat well in the first innings so that when they come out to bat in their second innings, our bowlers can put them under pressure,” Harbhajan told reporters here.

He said the the bowlers were struggling at Mohali strip and getting wicket was not an easy job.

“The ball was also not spinning much and I had to try different variations. I tried to beat the batsman in the air as the wicket was hardly offering help,” said Harbhajan, who took three wickets including that of centurion Shane Watson.

India made a spirited reply as they scored at a fast pace but Harbhajan felt it would have been nice had Virender Sehwag (59 of 54 balls) been around for some more time.

“But we have a good batting depth with quality batsmen like Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Suresh Raina, skipper MS Dhoni and myself which should ensure that India does not face any problem,” he said.

About Sehwag’s aggressive batting, he said, “We all know what kind of a batsman he is. Whether he is batting in Perth, Mohali, Sydney or England, he plays his natural game. It was sad that he got out. Things could have been different.”

Harbhajan also heaped a lot of praise on India’s pace spearhead Zaheer Khan saying when the paceman will retire after 4-5 years, people will remember him as one of the great bowlers India has ever produced and his name will be taken along other greats like Kapil Dev and Javagal Srinath.

“Zak (Zaheer) bowled his heart out, he deserves a lot of credit.”

Zaheer today took his 10th five-wicket haul.

Commenting on Australia’s huge score, he said they are a good team and specially praised their wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine (92) for batting sensibly.

PTI

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