Harbhajan hopes to get back into India Test XI

Mumbai: Off spinner Harbhajan Singh, not chosen in the Indian playing eleven for the third Test match in progress against England at Kolkata, is hopeful of getting into the side after leading Punjab in the Ranji Trophy league game against Mumbai from Saturday.

"I just wanted to come back and play some games because it is important to be in touch. In Kolkata, the sun sets pretty quickly by 4 pm. It gets really dark and you don`t get any practice by sitting out," said the Jalandhar-born player at the Wankhede Stadium.

"So its good to be coming over here and bowling lots of overs before I go back and (hopefully) join the team in Nagpur (venue of the fourth and final Test). It would be good to bowl a few overs and get a few wickets and score some runs, hopefully, and get back into the side and hopefully play the next Test matches and do well there," he told reporters.

Harbhajan was included as the third spin bowler by India in the second Test against England, won by ten wickets by the visitors at this venue last month.

He played in the second Test match here and managed to pick up two tail-end wickets in the England first innings.

The 32-year old spinner, who made his Test debut against Australia in 1998, was out of the squad for more than a year before being recalled for the series against England.

Though he was part of the 15 picked for the ongoing third game of the four-match series, he could not force his way into the eleven and play his landmark 100th Test and was released by the team management to play in the Ranji Trophy game here.

The off spinner, who has 408 wickets in his kitty so far in 99 Tests, would join the select 100-Test club of Indian players, containing 9 names, if he plays at Nagpur.

The nine Indian cricketers to have played 100 Tests: Sachin Tendulkar (193), Rahul Dravid (163), VVS Laxman (134), Anil Kumble (132), Kapil Dev (131), Sunil Gavaskar (125), Dilip Vengsarkar (116), Sourav Ganguly (113) and Virender Sehwag (101).