I could have taken more wickets: Harbhajan

Nagpur: India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh on Tuesday said he was satisfied to score runs but his bowling was not up to the standard in the three-match Test series against New Zealand.

Harbhajan scored 315 runs, comprising of two centuries and a fifty, and claimed only 10 wickets in the three-match series to help India beat New Zealand 1-0 but the offie said he was not happy with his wicket haul.

"It was satisfying to score runs with the bat but I could have taken a few more wickets," Harbhajan said after India thrashed New Zealand by an innings and 198 runs in the third Test, here today.

"I bowled well but the number of wickets that I got, I feel it is lower than my standard. I would have been happy with 15-16 wickets in the series," he added.

Harbhajan heaped praise on his colleagues for producing a brilliant bowling performance to bundle out New Zealand for 175 in their second innings.

"Ojha bowled well, Raina chipped in with wickets. Ishant (Sharma) and Sreesanth also bowled very well. It was a performance by everyone that mattered at the end," he said.

Harbhajan said he was looking forward to the South Africa series next month but cautioned it would a challenging series.

"South Africa is going to be very challenging. We have to play much better than we did in this series. If we play to our potential and capabilities, we can definitely win in South Africa," he said.

Man-of-the-match Rahul Dravid, who slammed 191 to help India pile up a mammoth 566/8 declared in their first innings, said it was the bowlers who set up the win for them.

"It was a good series, had to work hard for runs. To get the sort of result we did today was sweet. The bowlers set up the match for us. I think it was the best wicket we got in the series. There was bounce when the ball was new, and turn later as we saw it today," he said.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni also praised his bowlers but singled out Ishant Sharma for his brilliant three-wicket haul.

"I think the way the fast bowlers bowled on the first day was remarkable, there wasn`t much in the wicket for them then but they still got the wickets, and they were backed up by the spinners.”

"Ishant was very good. He was not in the team. So he was fresh. He stepped up to the occassion, hit the right length and took wickets," he said.

Dhoni also didn`t gloss over their fielding lapses and said this is an area which needs improvement.

"Plenty of positives -- the way Rahul is playing, Sehwag`s form, the bowlers have shown they can take wickets even on flat tracks. One area of improvement is the fielding, where we need to increase our intensity in the field," he said.

His New Zealand counterpart Daniel Vettori said it was a good challenge for his team to play under such conditions as many of them were playing in India for the first time in their career.

"It was a really good challenge. This is the sort of wicket you expect to play on at least once in India. It was a first time for some of us, and hopefully we can do better the next time it happens," Vettori said.

"We`re more comfortable as a one-day unit, though we were beaten in our previous series," he added.


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