Harbhajan Singh, an ex-cricketer for India, has never been shy in expressing his gratitude to Sourav Ganguly, his former captain, for the support he gave him against all odds during the 2001 Test series against Australia. The then-young off-spinner had a terrific series for the home team and was named Player of the Series for his performance.
Nevertheless, the 41-year-old said that if Ganguly had not supported him, he would have been removed from the Indian squad. Although Ganguly did not have the results as a captain, Harbhajan’s contributions were vital in the team’s triumph against the formidable Australians in the decisive series.
What did Harbhajan Singh say about Sourav Ganguly?
The following is what Harbhajan Singh had to say about his relationship with Ganguly when he was interviewed for a video that was uploaded to the YouTube channel of Sportskeeda:
“If Ganguly had not supported me, we would not have been able to win that series (which took place in 2001 against Australia), and he would have been removed from his position as captain. He appeared before me as if he were God and held my hand as I continued with my work. It was beneficial to both my career and his as a captain. Thus, allowing him to get an extension of his position. He did assist me in providing a chance. But ultimately it is the player’s responsibility to make the opportunity count.”
What would have happened to India if Greg Chappell hadn’t been India’s coach?
Harbhajan Singh also discussed the contentious tenure of Greg Chappell, who was once the head coach of the Indian national team. India was unable to go beyond the preliminary round of the 2007 One-Day International World Cup.
However, Harbhajan feels had Chappell not been at the helm, India would have done far better. Harbhajan thought that the environment in the locker room was poisonous, even though the team possessed all of the skills necessary to go far in the competition. He remarked that
“We would have had better results in the World Cup in the West Indies in 2007 if Greg Chappell hadn’t been the coach of the Indian national team. When he was a part of it, the team dynamic was really negative. Therefore, our growth without him would have been excellent.”
Harbhajan and a couple of the other players from that 2007 group did end up winning the World Cup in 2011. It is fair to say that this achievement represents the pinnacle of their careers.