Ace off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who will be turning 40 in July, believes he is ready to play for India in the T20 format considering he has been able to deliver in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Harbhajan, who is the joint third-highest wicket-taker in IPL with 150 scalps, last featured for India in 2016 when he played a solitary game in Asia Cup which was played in the T20 format.
“I’m ready,” Singh told ESPNcricinfo in an interview. “If I can bowl well in IPL, which is a very difficult tournament for bowlers because the grounds are smaller, and all the top players in world cricket play in the IPL…”
“It is very challenging to bowl against them and if you can do well against them in IPL, you can do well in international cricket. I have bowled predominantly in the powerplay and middle overs and got wickets,” he added.
The 39-year-old said that he was hurt that despite his IPL success, the national selectors had not considered him. “They will not look at me because they feel I am too old,” he said. “Also I don’t play any domestic cricket. (In the) Last four-five years they did not look at me even though I was doing well in the IPL, taking wickets and I had all my records to back my case.”
According to Harbhajan, IPL is the toughest T20 tournament and considering that he has been able to perform well in the league, he felt he could make a return to the national colours.
“In international cricket not all teams have quality players like IPL teams, where every team has a top-six which is good,” he said. “Yes, Australia, England, India have all got very good batting line-ups. But if I can get Johnny Bairstow and David Warner in IPL, don’t you think I can get them in international cricket? But it is not in my hands. No one comes and talk to you in this present Indian set-up,” he added.
The veteran off-spinner has played 103 Tests, 236 ODIs and 28 T20Is for India in which he scalped 417, 269 and 25 wickets respectively.