Harbhajan Singh was pleased that his punishing knock of 69 came when his side needed the innings.

The off-spinner said here on Friday, “I am happy that I contributed for the team with the bat. We now have runs on the board. In my last two innings against Australia, I did not get anything. Here, I just wanted to play ten balls and score 7 to 8 runs of those deliveries. But I grew in confidence after that.”

Harbhajan revealed, “A lot of my team-mates say I have the capability to score a Test hundred. So far I have disappointed them. Even today one or two seniors said I had missed another opportunity. But they were happy with my innings.”

The off-spinner said New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori was impressive on day two. “Vettori bowled well. He bowled a lot slower through the air. In fact, he was using his flight very well. It was hard to pick which delivery was landing short, which was fuller. But it was my day and I made the most of it. Now my job is to get wickets. My batting was a bonus.”

Asked about the pitch, Harbhajan said, “The wicket is quite slow. You have to work hard to get wickets. You have to set your field cleverly and bowl accordingly. You have to be very patient.”

He added, “The New Zealand batsmen are capable of scoring those runs. We have to make sure we bowl to a plan because they have got some serious batting coming up. After these two main batsmen who are playing now, they have Jesse Ryder and Daniel Vettori. Many people have commented about their loss to Bangladesh but New Zealand is a very a good side. We have a lot of respect for them.”

Harbhajan was pleased about India finally winning a toss. “You would have seen my reaction after I won the toss. I was very happy. This wicket is like that. I can be hard for the bowlers on the first two days. Under the circumstances, New Zealand bowled well. Jeetan Patel too did his job.”

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