In the midst of growing criticism surrounding Rohit Sharma’s captaincy, legendary spinner Harbhajan Singh has expressed the need for unwavering support for the Indian cricket team’s new leader. Following the World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia, where Rohit faced scrutiny from fans and former cricketers, including the iconic Sunil Gavaskar, Harbhajan emphasized the importance of recognizing the respect Rohit commands among his peers. With a vast experience of playing alongside Rohit in both the Indian and Mumbai Indians dressing rooms, Harbhajan believes that the criticism has gone overboard and that Rohit’s captaincy merits faith and backing.
Harbhajan shared his thoughts with PTI in an interview ahead of India’s upcoming Test series against the West Indies. Reflecting on the recent criticism faced by Rohit, Harbhajan stated, “I find that people are going a bit overboard… the way Rohit has been criticized. Cricket is a team sport, and one individual cannot single-handedly lead the team to victory.” He emphasized that while the team’s performance in the WTC final should be discussed constructively, it is unfair to solely target Rohit for not scoring runs, putting on weight, or captaining inadequately. According to Harbhajan, Rohit is a brilliant leader who has earned the respect of his teammates.
Harbhajan stressed the importance of showing faith in Rohit’s leadership abilities, drawing from his own experiences playing alongside him. He highlighted the respect that Rohit commands within the Mumbai Indians and Indian cricket dressing rooms, making it unfair to judge him solely based on recent results. “He will come good, and we need to show faith in him and support him rather than criticizing him for things he may not have control over,” Harbhajan expressed.
Throughout history, influential Indian captains have received implicit backing from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and its powerful administrators. Sourav Ganguly had the support of Jagmohan Dalmiya, Mahendra Singh Dhoni enjoyed backing from N Srinivasan, and Virat Kohli had the endorsement of Vinod Rai during their respective captaincy tenures. Harbhajan expressed his hope that Rohit is receiving similar support from the BCCI, allowing him the freedom to make decisions with confidence and clarity.
The support of the BCCI, according to Harbhajan, provides captains with the liberty to work freely and make the right decisions at the right time. He recalled the backing previous captains received from BCCI presidents during their reigns and emphasized that Rohit deserves the same level of support. While Harbhajan acknowledged that he is unsure about the extent of support Rohit currently receives, he stressed the significance of such backing for the captain’s success. As the cricketing community awaits the upcoming series against the West Indies, all eyes will be on Rohit Sharma, who aims to prove his mettle as the captain of the Indian cricket team. With Harbhajan Singh and other cricketing personalities rallying behind Rohit, it remains to be seen how the BCCI and fans will rally around him to provide the necessary support and confidence in his leadership abilities. As the Indian team steps onto the field, they hope to deliver strong performances under Rohit’s captaincy, showcasing the true potential of this talented side.