'Bhajji has been bowling well, but he is not lucky'

Indian skipper supports struggling off-spinner

Harbhajan Singh

“There is always a bit of pressure on him since Anil bhai (Kumble) retired,” Dhoni said on Friday when asked if the pressure on Harbhajan would mount now in Zaheer Khan’s absence. “He has been our strike bowler since then. He has always to deal with the fact that he is the leading spinner and is expected to take a lot of wickets.

“I think he has been bowling well.He hasn’t been lucky because quite a few catches have gone down. But as long as you are bowling at the right pace and in the right areas, at some point you will start taking wickets.”

India, Dhoni added, wouldn’t be desperate for victory against the eight-ranked team in the world merely to justify their number one status. “We don’t see the rankings so much,” he observed. “It’s the small things you do that takes care of the rankings. We are not too bothered about whether we are the number one team or not. We are bothered about how we play on the field, whether we give 100 percent or not. I don’t think there is extra pressure on us because we are the number one side.”

Practically ruling out going in with five bowlers, Dhoni went on, “It will be difficult to go in with the extra fast bowler. That’s definitely out of picture now. You might get some reverse swing but there is not enough in the conditions to go with three seamers  It will be 2-2. If spinners get a bit of bounce, it will be good. India is known more for turning tracks but I haven’t seen many in the past few Tests. This wicket looks a bit dry, there is some grass though; I am hoping there will be spin and bounce.”

India were denied practice for a second successive day due to a heavydownpour, but Dhoni remained unfazed. “At times, it’s better not to practice. With the amount of cricket we play, it might help us. It might be a blessing in disguise -- players get rest and they might play better. Anyway, it’s an uncontrollable, so no use discussing it. We are all geared up for the last Test of the series.”

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