Harbhajan fit to torment Ponting

India have received a boost with the news that Harbhajan Singh has been passed fit to face Australia in the first Test on Friday (India 5/2 to win 1st Test).

The 30-year-old’s participation in the opening contest was thrown into doubt after he complained of a sore side earlier in the week.

However scans have revealed no damage and the man they call the ‘Turbanator’ will continue his rivalry with the Aussies and, in particular, captain Ricky Ponting.

Harbhajan has dismissed the Tasmanian on 10 occasions in Test cricket and will be looking to get one over on his old adversary once again and keep India at the top of the Test rankings.

One man who will be viewing the series with particular interest is England off-spinner Graeme Swann, who could well be England’s trump card this winter Down Under.

The 31-year-old is expected to play a big part in England’s attempts to hold onto the famous little urn, with his ability to take wickets early in a spell and dismiss top-class batsmen (England 9/4 to win 1st Ashes Test).

Australians are generally good players of spin but Harbhajan has, by and large, had his way with them over the years and Swann will be looking to build on the eight wickets he took at the Oval in the final Test of England’s victorious Ashes campaign in 2009.

Ponting’s men play just two Tests against India and a three-match ODI series before heading home for a solitary Twenty20 with Sri Lanka and three one-dayers against the same opposition.

Just 18 days after the Sri Lankans leave, the Ashes will begin in Brisbane with England fans hoping that their heroes make a better start than four years ago, when Steve Harmison’s first ball of the series flew to Andrew Flintoff at second slip.

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