The Ganguly-Chappell spat September 25, 2005

Harbhajan comes to Ganguly's defense

Cricinfo staff

Harbhajan Singh is the first Indian player to speak out in support of his captain © Reuters

Despite Sourav Ganguly's plea that his ongoing spat with coach Greg Chappell should remain between the two men involved, his team mate, Harbhajan Singh, has spoken out in support of his captain - and accused Chappell of instilling "fear and insecurity" among the players. Ganguly's team mates have remained understandably quiet - until now: Harbhajan is the first player to voice his opinion.

Speaking to PTI, he urged that the controversy would reach its conclusion as soon as possible. "Whenever any controversy surrounds the team, the performance of team is adversely affected," he said.

"It will be good for the team if the controversy is immediately resolved so that every player can concentrate on his game instead of getting mental tension."

And Harbhajan denied the accusation that Ganguly wasn't fit to captain the side, adding " may be the coach's [Chappell's] own observation but, as far as I am concerned, Ganguly has been proved as an excellent captain, which is evident from his match winning record."

The spinner also dismissed the notion that Ganguly was only interested in captaincy and creating difficulty among team members. "I have played for almost five years under the captaincy of Ganguly and never felt like that," he insisted. "In fact, he takes personal interest to boost each and every player during practice as well as during a match.

"Ganguly has rebuilt this team and whatever the team has achieved so far, credit goes to the captain."