Harbhajan gears up for "long spell" against East in Duleep semis
Kochi: Fresh from his exploits that helped Mumbai Indians clinch the Champions League Twenty20, Harbhajan Singh is confident of carrying his good form into the longer format as he leads North Zone against defending champions East Zone in Duleep Trophy semi-final, starting here on Thursday.
"Obviously, you need to make some adjustments as you switch formats. It`s nothing different for me also. My performance in the CLT20 has been a confidence booster and I would like to continue my good work with red cherry also," Harbhajan told PTI over phone on the eve of the semi-final.
Harbhajan, whose last longest format game was second Test against Australia in Hyderabad last March, is happy to play whatever match is coming his way.
"For me, playing matches is the most important thing. Wherever I play and whatever format I play. The more I bowl in the competitive sphere, the better I will get. I will be playing a first-class match after seven months and my aim is to bowl a long spell. A day`s match not only helps one test his skills but also his stamina," the veteran of 101 Tests and 229 ODIs added.
"A longer spell will help me use variations as well. It would help me to get my body loose, which is a primary requirement. Obviously, there are certain differences of bowling with red ball from white kookaburra."
The `Turbanator` also doesn`t want to take East Zone lightly despite the team not having premier Bengal players like Manoj Tiwary and Laxmi Ratan Shukla.
Incidentally, both Shukla and Tiwary didn`t play in the last edition, which East won under Natraj Behra`s stewardship.
"They (East) must have done a few things correctly and that`s the reason they are the two-time champions. They are a very good team and obviously, a Duleep Trophy semi-final can`t be an easy match."
Talking about his decisive 17th over in the Champions League final, Harbhajan said that getting Shane Watson (in the 15th over) was very important at that point of time.
"The idea was to restrict the flow of runs but at the same time wanted to take wickets. Getting Watson was key and also I also got Stuart (Binny) and Rahane. You can`t compare the victories but it was a satisfying feeling winning the Champions League T20," the senior off-spinner said.
For East Zone, skipper Wriddhiman Saha will like to score a few runs to remain in the running for the second wicketkeeper`s slot in India`s away tours, while another India discard Ashoke Dinda would also like to be back in the scheme of things as far as national selection is concerned.