Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Kohli’s aggression will help India scale difficult heights: Harbhajan

New Delhi, July 2 (IANS) Veteran Indian leg-spinner Harbhajan Singh believes current Test captain Virat Kohli�s aggression will help the national cricket side scale �difficult heights”.

“It’s good to see the way Virat Kohli conducts himself. I feel this is the brilliant way forward for Indian cricket. Going to play with the right body language, fighting it out for India with a zeal to get the right result, we need such a spirit, which Virat Kohli has,� Harbhajan said in a television show, Aap Ki Adalat.

�Whether it�s his own or he may have taken it from me, I feel it’s a great sign for Indian cricket, to take India to difficult heights.”

The offie also spoke about his former team-mate Anil Kumble who was recently roped in to coach the national outfit.

“Anilbhai is a man I respect a lot. I played with him for many years. I learnt one thing from him in life — ‘Don’t ever give up’. He was a cricketer with a serious bent of mind. He knows my mischievous nature. I don’t think he had any problems with me ever,� he said.

“I agree Anilbhai had to sit outside because of me, because in those days I was playing well. I myself felt bad seeing him sit outside, because I was only 20 then, I was doing well, and my captain chose me.”

Harbhajan also said it is always a special moment winning India-Pakistan games and believes the hype around the high voltage encounter is all media generated.

“As a player, I feel great after defeating a big team. In those days the Pakistan team was a great team too. They had players like Wasim Akram, Waqar Younus, Saqlain Mushtaq and Shoaib Akhtar. For us that used to be a special game, a special moment. I feel media creates too much hype for India-Pakistan matches,� he remarked.

In 2007-08 Harbhajan was charged with racial abuse against Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds. The incident became famous as the �monkeygate� scandal but the tweaker denied having abused him.

“I didn’t say monkey. It was their allegation. I only told him – ‘teri maa ki…haath ki roti khaane ko bada dil kar raha hai’ (Feel like eating chapattis made by your mother) (smiling). He didn’t listen at all. Anyway, he didn�t know Hindi, and I did not know English,” he said.

On the infamous incident in which Sreesanth was slapped, Harbhajan said: “Actually, he did a ‘nautanki’ (drama). It was my fault that I did that (slapping) on the ground. I have admitted in all my interviews that I committed this mistake in my life.”

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