Recently, Harbhajan Singh took to Twitter to say that his and Anil Kumble's wickets tallies would have been "something else" if they had played on pitches on which India had played off late. The Turbunator, who has over 400 wickets for India in Test cricket, also mentioned in his Tweet that only two out of his 103 Tests were played on wickets that aided spinners.
The Tweet had evoked the ire of many, including Indian skipper Virat Kohli. Very recently, former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly was asked about his opinion on Harbhajan’s jibe on current pitches being more suited to spinners. Talking to ESPNCricinfo, Ganguly in a candid manner asked Harbhajan to take it easy. Ganguly said, “He’s (Harbhajan) has got to take it easy. He’s been a champion bowler, and he should move ahead.”
Ganguly also mentioned that it wasn’t Ashwin’s fault that he got to play on turning tracks. “I know some of the (current) pitches are square turners but that’s not Ashwin’s fault. Ashwin has got those pitches to bowl on and he had bowled well on it,” Ganguly said.
Ganguly also mentioned that Harbhajan will remain a champion bowler irrespective of what kind of surfaces he bowled on. The 44-year former Indian captain said,”Harbhajan is a great bowler and has been a great servant for India and he should not bother about these things. I know if he had got some of the recent pitches to bowl on, Harbhajan would have got 40 wickets, but he did not but it doesn’t make him a lesser bowler than anybody.”
Earlier, Harbhajan’s tweet was lambasted by cricketing fraternity and fans alike. Ravichandran Ashwin has had a remarkable run in Test cricket over the past four years, and the off-spinner played down the banter calling it ‘unhealthy’, and tweeted that Harbhajan was an inspiration and the reason why Ashwin took up off-spin.
Ashwin had also added that by pitting players against each other, nobody gained anything but just a juicy headline.
Ashwin, who is in the form of his life, will once again be a key cog in India’s bowling wheel, when they take on England in a five-match Test series at home starting tomorrow with the first Test at Rajkot. Ashwin will have good support with Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra also in good form. England had a torrid time in Bangladesh, where they were undone by the spin of a young Mehendi Hasan, and lost the second Test.