Bhajji eager to dictate terms to Australia

Mumbai, Feb. 10 -- Once the Irani Cup was in the bag on the basis of the first innings lead, Rest Of India skipper Harbhajan Singh was a satisfied man. To add to the triumph, Harbhajan had another reason to smile - his return to the national team to face Australia.

Having scalped three wickets in the first innings, Harbhajan appeared in even better rhythm in Mumbai's second innings. Like the Harbhajan of old, he had opener Aditya Tare and Ajinkya Rahane reaching out for deliveries to have them caught at forward short-leg.

With the form back and a battle against his favourite opponents looming large, Harbhajan hoped to recreate his past magic in the Tests starting on February 22. "Comebacks are always tough. But I am hoping to make a difference there (against Australia)," said Harbhajan, who is one short of his 100th Test and makes a second comeback, having been recalled to play in one Test, against England in Mumbai.

Harbhajan claimed the series will be a tough one to crack for the young touring side. "They have a lot of new players. Plus, apart from Michael Clarke and Shane Watson, there are many left-handers," he said. "I think it will be a challenging series for them and hopefully we put them under pressure right from the start."

While hoping that India's bowling unit, mainly comprising young bowlers, will

perform well, he was confident of a good show against Australia. "The bowlers need to take 20 wickets together. I am eager to bowl to them. Hopefully, we will show Australia the kind of cricket we play in India."

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.

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