"Got An Extension In Captaincy...": Harbhajan Singh On How He Helped Sourav Ganguly With His 2001 Performance
Harbhajan Singh performed brilliantly for the Sourav Ganguly-led Indian cricket team against Australia in the 2001 Test series at home
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 the Sourav Ganguly-led India defeat the mighty Australians, playing under Steve Waugh. Harbhajan finished the three-Test series with 32 wickets to be the top 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 backed Harbhajan then and he repaid the faith.
Replying to a question on 'What if Sourav Ganguly had not backed Harbhajan Singh?', the spin great has now said: "Toh woh captaani se hat jate. I think then he would not have been able to win series against Australia. If we would not have won the series, then Dada would not have been there. It's like God sent Sourav Ganguly for me, telling 'hold this kid's hand.' He held my hand and I held God's hand. And I kept doing my work. That is how I made my name and Sourav Ganguly also won a big series, due to which he got an extension in captaincy," Harbhajan said in an interview to Sportskeeda Cricket.
Harbhajan added that he was thankful for the skipper's backing and added that it was ultimately a player's performance that helps him become special.
"Yes, he supported me, there is no doubt about that. I am always thankful for that. But side by side it's your performance that makes your career special. Captain can give you one opportunity, that Sourav Ganguly gave me at the right time. It was difficult period for me. After that it's on the person on 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 follow-on. Laxman and Dravid stitched a stand for the ages 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.