Shrinking spin talent worries Harbhajan

New Delhi, March 1: India’s most successful off-spinner Harbhajan Singh is worried about the dwindling spin talent in the country.

Harbhajan, who is busy playing domestic cricket for Punjab after being sidelined from the national team, says he has not spotted a quality spin bowler lately.

“In all this time I have been playing domestic tournaments, I have not seen a guy who can give the ball a tweak, someone who can produce spin and bounce, someone who has the capability to run through the side and bowl out a batsman on a good batting wicket,” Harbhajan said after Punjab beat Delhi in the Vijay Hazare Trophy here Saturday.

The veteran, who has taken 694 international wickets across the three formats of the game, says more needs to be done to develop the art of spin.

“Somewhere I feel we need to develop spinners by having more academies. We need to find out the talent from smaller towns. I have not seen anyone come up in the last 8-10 years,” said Harbhajan.

Ravichandran Ashwin has been criticised often for too many variations in his bowling.

“No matter how many variations you have, you got to have a stock ball at the end of the day. People still get out the same way as they did 10-20 years ago. Whether you hold the ball across the seam or from the seam, you have to bowl spin.

“It is good to have variations but you should not forget your identity. Kapil dev had an outswinger, Dayle Steyn too has that weapon. Likewise, spinners should be able to spin the ball.”

Asked about Ashwin’s recent performance, Harbhajan said: “I don’t want to comment on someone who is playing for the country. I wish him the best.”

IANS