Symonds-Bhajji bhai bhai?
Harbhajan Singh offers an olive branch to Andrew Symonds and all seem to be well in the Mumbai Indians' dressing room. Excerpts of an interview with the ace spinner after his team's match againt the Delhi Daredevils.
When Andrew Symonds was picked up by Mumbai Indians during the Indian Premier League (IPL) Season Four players' auction in January, almost instantaneously there was talk about sparks flying in a dressing room that the Queenslander would have to share with hisÂ nemesis ? the man who most Australians, including Symonds, claim curtailed his international career.
In an interview last year, Symonds revealed the incidents that followed Monkeygate had sent him into a depressive state, and even propelled him to start drinking a bit more. Symonds said that Harbhajan Singh 'was lucky' to escape the controversy without a match ban. Later that year, Harbhajan told MiD DAY in a freewheeling chat that he wanted to bury the hatchet with Symonds, and 'was hurt' when he read that Symonds had blamed him for ending his international career.
The feisty off-spinner has held out the olive branch to Symonds, and it is learnt that the two have been getting along really well in the Mumbai Indians dressing room.
Excerpts of an interview with Harbhajan soon after his side's eight-wicket victory against Delhi Daredevils here at the Feroz Shah Kotla yesterday.
On sharing the dressing room with Andrew Symonds...
Honestly, it feels great. We are playing for one team. Obviously, it's fantastic to have him in the side. He's a genuine match-winner. He has proved that over the years with Australia, probably one of the cleanest strikers of the cricket ball. I am sure with his capability and power-hitting, he will be able to win us a lot of games. I am looking forward to seeing some firecrackers from his bat this season. Also, I am looking forward to spending time with him and getting to know him a lot better. I will surely celebrate when he hits a 50 or a hundred. We both can do really well for Mumbai. Hopefully, we will lift the IPL trophy together.
On recovering from the World Cup hangover...
Obviously, the World Cup was really, really special. Most of us are yet to recover from the victory. I wish we had some more time to celebrate such a great achievement. Wish we could relax a little more. Unfortunately, the dates of IPL IV were announced even before the World Cup, but that's life. We are professional cricketers and have to abide by whatever schedule is in place. The World Cup was a life-changing experience for all the 15 members of the squad. We enjoyed each and every moment thoroughly.
On Mumbai's chances in IPL IV...
This is a team that has been constantly on the rise. From the first season to now, we have been improving all the time. It's always good to be back on the ground wearing a Mumbai Indians jersey. Last year, we got to the final. Hopefully, this time we will lift the trophy.
On meeting the PM after the World Cup win...
Meeting the PM is always an honour for any sportsperson. I am glad with what we have achieved as a cricket team. The whole country is really proud of us. When we walk out on the streets, everyone reminds us that we are world champions. That's the best feeling in the world. Even the PM has congratulated us and will now do so formally. Hopefully (chuckles), he will announce something for the team. That will be the icing on the cake.