Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Harbhajan craves for 2011 World Cup to complete career treble

New Delhi: An indispensable cog in the Indian team that has reached the pinnacle in Test and Twenty20 cricket, feisty off-spinner Harbhajan Singh now craves for 2011 ODI World Cup glory to complete a career treble.

The senior-most bowler in the side, Harbhajan has been a key member of the team that won the 2007 Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa, and did his bit to help India become the number one Test side in the world after their 2-0 win over Sri Lanka in the recent home series.

Looking ahead, the 29-year-old spinner said, winning the 2011 would be the icing on the cake.

"We've won the Twenty20 World Cup, we are the number one Test side and now if we can win the 2011 World Cup, that would be a great thing for Indian cricket and all of us who will be part of that triumphant squad," Harbhajan said in an interview.

"I will be on top of the world if it happens," added the spinner who played a stellar role in India's recent ascent. "It would have been nice if we could win the 50-over cricket World Cup in 2003. We could not win it, but I have great memories of that tournament (where India reached the final) of playing some really great matches along with some great players. It will be very exciting if we can win the 2011 World Cup," the Punjab spinner said over phone.

At the same time, Harbhajan insists it would be far from a stroll in the park.

"It would require special efforts and special performance, and that would add on to the team's success. I will be very happy if we can achieve that. It would be very satisfying," said country's most successful off-spinner, who has been restedfor the two Twenty20 Internationals against Sri Lanka.

Overall, it has been an exciting time for Indian cricket with Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men recording their 100th Test win against Sri Lanka in Kanpur and following it with the triumph in Mumbai that made them the number one Test team in the world.

Harbhajan said the milestones did not come overnight and lot of toil went behind it.

"Obviously, it is an exciting time for Indian cricket. We have all worked very hard for this occasion, and we are really happy wherever we are today.

"I think every one in the team contributed. Bowlers regularly took wickets, batsmen scored truckloads of runs...We had it in our mind for a while and it's great to be number one.

"Personally speaking, I've contributed whenever the team required and I'm really proud to be part of this squad," Harbhajan added.

The consensus is India would have to work harder to retain their number one spot in Test rankings in the limited opportunities they have. Harbhajan, however, sees it from a different angle.

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