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Harbhajan's coach believes Bhajji will spin web in Caribbeans

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, May 12 (UNI) Describing Harbhajan Singh as the best turner in the country since the golden era of the spin quartet, his coach Davinder Arora exuded confidence that ''Bhajji'' will tie the West Indies batsmen in tangles in the upcoming tour.

Talking to UNI here, Arora said, ''Harbhajan is, without an iota of doubt, the best spinner India has produced since the era of the great (VS) Chandrasekhar, (Bishan Singh) Bedi, (S) Venkataraghavan and (EAS) Prasanna. Of course there is Anil Kumble but he belongs to another genre.'' ''He is an intelligent bowler and would be a huge success in the West Indies,'' he predicted.

''Pitches in the Caribbeans are not what it was earlier when they relied on their pace battery to win the matches for them. There will be much for the spinners there and Harbhajan won't let it go,'' said the former Ranji player, who has seen the turbaned turner since his childhood.

Recalling Harbhajan's formative days, Arora recalled, ''I was working with the Jalandhar District cxricket Association (JDCA) and Harbhajan was 12 or 13 then when his cousin brought him to me. It was very difficult to be impressed by the frail youngster but his sharpness impressed me. I knew there was something in him but of course I never imagined he would reach the dizzy heights.'' Himself a former player -- part of the Railways team that reached Ranji final in 1988 -- whose career was cut short by a scooter accident, Arora said Harbhajan is a true fighter and was always ready to overcome the odds.

''I remember how difficult it was when his father passed away and people talked about his bowling action. But he never gave up and fought his own battle. I would tell him to work on his basics and he weather every crisis.'' ''He is characteristically very confident and uncowered by any situation. He loves to take the bull by the horn and that kept him going during those crises.'' Arora also admires hs ward's willingness to experiment.

''He always havew something new to share. And he is an intelligent bowler. Ten minutes were enough to make him understand something but the same thing would require 10 days for others. I remember when he was developing his doosra, he mastered in six days and within a week had his first victim out there.'' Asked what he likes most about Harbhajan's bowling, Arora said, ''He is a very clever bowler and generates considerable bounce with his high-arm action. And there is this xing thing in his bowling.

That makes him a deadly customer.'' Arora, who coached Himachal and Jammu Kashmir in Ranji Trophy, is all set to renew his association with JDCA and advises to keep a watch on another Punjab lad, Ishan Dogra.

''Ishan has the same spark and he has already played for India under-15. I think in him, we have another Team India prospect from Punjab,'' he added.

UNI AY DH GC1349

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