We are not taking West Indies lightly: Harbhajan

India spinner Harbhajan Singh feels the West Indies tour is a great platform for youngsters to cement their place in the national team Getty Images

Port of Spain (Trinidad): Jun 3, 2011

Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has warned his young team-mates not to take the West Indies lightly in the limited overs series starting on Saturday, saying that the Caribbean s still have some quality players in their ranks.

“We don’t want to take them lightly because they have some quality players,” said Harbhajan, who is the senior most player in the touring side.

He said the absence of senior players in the touring Indian squad has given the youngsters a chance to “cement their place in the team” and vindicate their selection.

“A lot of these (new) guys have done well before. It’s a great opportunity for the young guys to perform well and cement their place in the team,” said Harbhajan, who is also the vice captain of the visiting side.

India have come here with a weakened team without the likes of captain MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and fast bowler Zaheer Khan.

Harbhajan, however, was optimistic that the visitors, even without some of their star players, have the wherewithal to win the series.

“We are a good side and if we play to our potential we can come out very strong,” he said.

On the personal front, he said he was looking forward to contribute to the team’s cause both with the bat and ball.

“My personal goal is to win the series and just do well with the bat and ball,” he said.

“It’s always nice to be back in the Caribbean. Playing in the Caribbean is always special. I’ve always enjoyed playing here. The people are always friendly and nice to talk to. The Caribbean is where we used to look at with all the strong cricketers (in the past),” Harbhajan was quoted as saying by ‘Trinidad and Tobago Newsday’.