File image of Sourav Ganguly and Harbhajan Singh.© AFP
The Indian cricket team’s 2001 home test series against Australia was an intensely contested one. Some great performances from the likes of VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid and Harbhajan Singh saw Sourav Ganguly led India defeat the mighty Australians, playing under Steve Waugh. Harbhajan finished the three-Test series with 32 wickets to be the best wicket taker. He was crucial in India, making a strong comeback in the series after losing the first Test in Mumbai by 10 wickets. Ganguly had then supported Harbhajan and he repaid the faith.
In response to a question about ‘What if Sourav Ganguly hadn’t supported Harbhajan Singh?’, the spin major has now said: “Toh woh captaani se hat jate† I don’t think he could have won a series against Australia. If we hadn’t won the series, Dada wouldn’t have been there. It’s as if God sent Sourav Ganguly for me and says ‘hold this boy’s hand’. He held my hand and I held God’s hand. And I kept doing my job. That’s how I made a name for myself and Sourav Ganguly also won a big series, which gave him an extension as captain,” Harbhajan said in an interview with Sportskeeda Cricket .
Harbhajan added that he was grateful for the skipper’s support and added that in the end it was a player’s achievement that helped him become special.
“Yes, he has supported me, there is no doubt about that. I am always grateful for that. But side by side it is your achievements that make your career special. Captain can give you one chance, which Sourav Ganguly gave me at the right time It was a difficult period for me. After that, it’s up to the person about how he performs,” Harbhajan said.
After losing the first test in Mumbai, India won the second test in Kolkata by 171 runs, despite being asked to continue. Laxman and Dravid have nailed a stand for years, while Harbhajan took 13 wickets in the match. In the third Test in Chennai Harbhajan took 15 wickets. India won the match by two wickets.
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