Need a team that can win abroad: Harbhajan Singh

Updated: 26 January, 2018 14:32 IST | IANS | Kolkata

India need to build a team that can win not only at home but abroad as well, veteran Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh said on Thursday

Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh

India need to build a team that can win not only at home but abroad as well, veteran Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh said on Thursday. "Winning is important but at the same time you need to look into and make a team which can win not just in India but overseas as well. "And that will only happen on wickets in India where the match will go till the fifth day. That means everybody will get tested," Harbhajan told reporters on the sidelines of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy here.

"Three-day Test matches will not solve the purpose. You will get results and win test matches but it's also important to make the team work more harder to see bigger picture in prospect," the 37-year-old added. The former India star, who has claimed over 400 wickets in Test cricket for India, is in the city skippering Punjab in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament. Punjab crashed out of the Super League stage on Thursday despite beating Rajasthan in a virtual semi-final clash due to an inferior net run rate.

Asked to compare present skipper Virat Kohli's team to the one he played under former captain Sourav Ganguly, Harbhajan said: "Let's not compare eras and sides and stuff. Basically different eras have different kind of cricket, you can't really compare." Harbhajan said the Indian spinners need to bowl on overseas wickets more where five-wicket hauls are difficult to come by.

"The more you play in overseas conditions, you will get to know how to bowl over there. The spinners' role is very vital not just in India, in overseas as well. If you can pick wickets in middle overs, that's where you bring lot of change. "It takes time to learn. Hopefully our spinners will learn fast and convert their magic into winning streak like whatever they have been doing in India. The conditions are different in India where you bowl 10 and get five-for. In SA, England you will have to bowl 35-40 overs and work really hard to get those five wickets. Provided you are willing to work hard, you will succeed," Harbhajan said.

India have already lost the ongoing three-Test series against South Africa 2-0. They are still in the hunt in the third game, after dismissing South Africa for 194 runs in their first innings on the second day. India posted 187 in their first innings after electing to bat. In the previous two Tests, India fared poorly as most of their batsmen failed except for Kohli in the second game.

The team selection also came under the scanner when Ajinkya Rahane was not played in the first two Tests and pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar was dropped from the second match despite bowling superbly in the first. "It's been one of those tours where we have not played well as a team," Harbhajan said. "We all have seen. We have toured after three years or so. Let's give more time to this young team. I am sure under Virat they will do well. India have been playing on challenging wickets which is the case when you tour abroad. "So the more u will play, more u will learn. If we win third Test, it will be a good turnaround. I am backing the team to win the third test," he added.

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First Published: 26 January, 2018 14:29 IST

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