Kumble's inputs helped me get back bounce and drift: Bhajji

Kumble's inputs helped me get back bounce and drift: Bhajji

Kumble's inputs helped me get back bounce and drift: Bhajji

Harbhajan Singh managed to rediscover his form in the sixth edition of the IPL by relying on flight and the feisty off-spinner attributes his fantastic run in the tourney to former spin partner Anil Kumble.

"I am proud to have made a significant contribution in Mumbai Indians' triumphant run in IPL 6 and Anil bhai deserves the lion's share of the credit. As the Team Mentor, his watchful eyes and invaluable inputs helped me rediscover my old touch," Harbhajan, who finished as third highest wicket-taker with 24 wickets told PTI in an interview today.

"Since Anil bhai retired in 2008, we haven't spend this lengthy amount of time discussing cricket. He asked me why I was trying to do things which don't come naturally to me.

"He (Kumble) told me that my strength is bounce which I extract and the drift in my deliveries. Rather than trying to push the deliveries fast, I relied more on flight and it worked wonders," the senior off-spinner said.

Not only did he get a bagful of wickets but he also had the best economy rate of 6.51 among the top-10 bowlers having sent down highest number of overs (70).

"What was satisfying was that I bowled a lot of overs in the Powerplays which gave me enormous confidence. In T20 containment isn't good enough as you need to take wickets. During the tournament, I always felt that I was in my element throughout. I was able to get wickets when my team needed."

Harbhajan was confident of staging a comeback into the national team

"I am confident of making a comeback. I still have a lot of international cricket left in me. With this performance, I have been able to prove my critics who had already written me off. I have let the ball do all the talking and my performance speaks for itself. Hope those critics have better things to do now," said the bowler who has nearly 700 international scalps.

About his batting performance which won crucial games for Mumbai Indians, he said, "The secret of our success is playing with five bowlers. I went into bat at No 7 and Mitch (Johnson) was in at No 8 followed by three bowlers. During the course of the tournament even though we were four or five down for not many, we would still get in the range between 140 and 160."

He has been extremely close to Sachin Tendulkar and has always looked upto the champion batsman for advice.

"Sachin is someone who has supported me in tough times. I don't need to think twice before approaching him when I feel that I need help. He has been pivotal in Mumbai Indians' success and we will all miss him that he has now announced his retirement. Having said that we all know that whenever we need him, he will be right there behind us," the 32-year-old said.

Just like last year, Harbhajan is planning to go back to English county circuit after a stint with Surrey.

"I am going to England for sure. I haven't decided on the county team but I want to continue the good work done in IPL. If I don't get to play days' matches, then I will be playing Pro-40 or T20 but would want to play as many matches as I can before the next season starts. I will do everything possible to win my place back in the Indian team."

Asked about the match-fixing scandal which has seen the arrest of India paceman S Sreesanth and two other Rajasthan Royals players, Harbhajan said "I am not going to answer that".

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