New Delhi: There was a time, when Indian team heavily relied on the vetran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh to provide the break-through during his playing days in the sub-continent.
Now, the role has been assigned to another off-spinner - Ravichandran Ashwin. The Tamil Nadu boy has become the chief wicket-taker for the Indian team in the past few years.
Though the Turbanator made his debut in Tests in 1998, but he has not been a part of Indian Test team since June 2015. Now, Ashwin who made his Test debut in 2011, is the go-to man in spin department for the Men in Blue.
Before the start of the India vs New Zealand Test series, senior off-spinner Harbhajan Singh felt that captain Virat Kohli and chief coach Anil Kumble have got a chance to usher in a new era where Indian cricket team will not require "rank turners" to win matches as the long-used tactic is beginning to boomerang on the side. (READ: Virat Kohli and Anil Kumble must change trend of rank turners, says Harbhajan Singh)
To this the Tamil Nadu offie replied in his own way and the Punjab lad commented again in a sarcastic way.
"Honestly, I have no idea how my statement is going to be presented by the media. However, one thing which I can say is that we have no time to read all these comments. We don't decide the nature of the wickets. Neither Kohli nor Kumble rolls or waters the track. It's unfortunate that people don't understand this. We should be allowed to enjoy our brand of cricket. Nobody is bothered when England wins a Test in two days. So what's the problem if the same happens in India?", says Ashwin and was quoted by Ananda Bazar Patrika.
Harbhajan said, "I think he (Ashwin) should enjoy his success. Alas, had we bowled on such wickets... I will still stick to my point," replied when asked about Ashwin's statement.
When asked about his palying days in the team, Singh replied, "What we used to get, can be termed as 'little favour' and what happens now is 'lot of favour'. There's hell and heaven of a difference between the two. There should be a balance between bat and ball. Neither the batsman nor the bowler should get extra advantage"
He signed off by saying, "Skill should be the deciding factor and not the conditions. Once the conditions start playing a bigger role, skill falls behind,".
Recently, R Ashwin became the fastest Indian bowler to reach 200 wickets in 37 matches. Previously this record was in the pocket of the Punjab boy, who took 46 matches to get there. (READ: India vs New Zealand, 1st Test: Ravichandran Ashwin becomes fastest Indian to take 200 Test wickets)
India won the first match with a big margin of 197 runs against New Zealand at Kanpur. Second match will start from 30th September in Kolkata.
It is a long home season for the hosts as they have to play 12 more Test matches. Likely to be seen what type of pitches are provided by the curators for the matches.