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‘People Are Going Overboard’: Harbhajan Singh Says ‘Brilliant Leader’ Rohit Sharma Unfairly Targeted

Last Updated: July 11, 2023, 12:45 IST

Rohit Sharma will next lead in the two-match Test series against West Indies. (AP Photo)

Rohit Sharma will next lead in the two-match Test series against West Indies. (AP Photo)

Harbhajan Singh says Indian team management has to continue showing faith in Rohit Sharma who will eventually come good.

With Rohit Sharma coming under fire after India’s defeat in the ICC World Test Championship final, legendary spinner Harbhajan Singh has defended his former teammate, accusing his critics of going a ‘bit overboard’.

Rohit was handed over the India Test captaincy last year when Virat Kohli stepped down after the end of South Africa tour.

“I find that people are going a bit overboard… the way Rohit has been criticised. Cricket is a team sport and one individual cannot take you from one place to other,” Harbhajan told news agency PTI.

Harbhajan, who represented India in 103 Tests, agrees that India underperformed in the WTC final but adds singling out Rohit is unfair.

“Team India didn’t do well in WTC final, and yes, you talk about that performance and move on from there. But it is unfair to criticise Rohit alone, that he is not scoring runs, putting on weight, not captaining well. I think he is a brilliant leader,” he said.

Across formats, Rohit has led India 84 times so far with 62 of them resulting in victories while 21 in defeats and one draw.

Harbhajan says Rohit has the respect of his teammates having watched him closely during his playing career.

“I have played with him (Rohit) and watched him closely. He commands a lot of respect not only in MI dressing room but also in the Indian dressing room. So I think it’s unfair to judge him on basis of recent results,” he said.

“He will come good and we need to show faith in him and we need to support him rather than pinpointing that you are not doing this or that,” he added.

In the past, India captains have had the backing of top BCCI officials and Harbhajan hopes Rohit is getting a similar treatment now.

Bhajji pointed out how the likes of MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli prospered into their roles as captains with a firm backing from the BCCI bosses of their respective tenures.

“If you have the support from BCCI, you can work freely. Not just MS Dhoni or Virat Kohli, if you go back a little further, a lot of captains have got support from BCCI presidents of that time,” he said.

“Rohit must be getting support from BCCI. I don’t know how much support he must be getting (though). Having that kind of support will help him take right kind of decision at the right time. He will get that liberty if he has that support. Support must be there for Rohit like BCCI has given it to all its captains,” he added.

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