India missed out winning or even leveling the Test series against England as they failed to seize the crucial moments. It's not that they were outplayed by Englishmen. Virat Kohli and co did put up a fight and they were not completely knocked-out except Lord's Test where conditions were extreme.
Now, India's next overseas assignment is Down Under. The number 1 Test will face Australia, who is currently at number 5 in the Test ranking. Of course, ranking doesn't matter when two of the good sides face each other like we saw England vs India Test series, but unlike that series, here the ranking is saying it clear and louder that Australia isn't as good as current Indian team.
The omission of Steve Smith and David Warner is one of the major reasons why everyone is looking India as favorites when the two teams clash later this year.
Indian veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh has joined that list and now he also believes India has a good opportunity to chokeslam Australia in their own backyard.
He also added that it won't be easy, but the chances are high. “But, yes, it might not [still] be a cakewalk for the Indian team. You have to play your best cricket still," Harbhajan said on the sidelines of a Sports For All inter-school sports meet.
Harbhajan, who has been part of India's touring squad to Australia, also commented on Indian spin combination. He said: “Honestly, it is a good competition among the bowlers. More options is also a good sign and also good for the coach. You have to pick the best combination for the given scenario. [Ravindra] Jadeja can bring a lot with his fielding and batting skills, Kuldeep [Yadav] has been a champion spinner and one of the top bowlers who took wickets, [Yuzvendra] Chahal has done quite well. They (team management and selectors) will have to see which combination works against the opposition for a particular series. In my view, all three should be part of the team at all time.”
The offie didn't miss out on lauding Ambati Rayudu who is now seen as India's hope for number 4 position in ODIs. “It was a matter of time he got into the groove, got the confidence, start delivering for the team,” he said.
The support Rayudu needed was given by Virat Kohli and Harbhajan thinks he is now under the right captain.
“Rayudu [has] now got the right sort of captain who is very much there for him to give him the desired support, which actually made him play the game he (Rayudu) loves.
“Rayudu got the game for the best fast bowlers and is too good against the spinners. If [he] gets going, there is no stopping him and [he] should be a good No. 4 player who should play for India for a long, long time,” he felt.
Harbhajan raised the issue of Karun Nair again. Nair was dropped from Test team without given a proper run. “I have issues with the selection panel. For instance, the way Karun Nair was dropped without playing him in any match like a few others. And, there are some in the team without doing anything,” Harbhajan said.
“Well, soon I am planning to write an autobiography detailing my journey into the cricketing world, the ups, and downs I faced. [However,] I don’t think I am such a big player about whom a biopic can be made,” he concluded.
(With Sportstar Live's input)