India news April 6, 2012

'Harbhajan has ability to lead India some day' - Ganguly

ESPNcricinfo staff

Sourav Ganguly, the former India captain, has said that offspinner Harbhajan Singh has the ability to lead the national team following his showing for his IPL franchise, Mumbai Indians. Harbhajan has not featured in India's Test or ODI squad since August 2011.

He returned home mid-way through India's 4-0 Test whitewash in England, after picking up an abdominal muscle strain, and was not picked for the home series against England and West Indies, the tour of Australia or the Asia Cup. However, during this period he had captained Mumbai Indians, in place of an injured Sachin Tendulkar, to the Champions League T20 title. Earlier this week, in wake of Tendulkar's decision to stand down from the post just before the start of IPL V, he was named the franchise's permanent captain.

"Harbhajan's captaincy was brilliant in the Champions League and yesterday too," Ganguly told PTI, referring to the opening game of the IPL, in which Mumbai Indians beat Chennai Super Kings by eight wickets. He said Harbhajan's body language as captain had been "terrific". "He has the ability to lead India some day. I have always said I will have Harbhajan in my side."

Ganguly also said Tendulkar was a "reluctant" leader. "We have seen in the past that he [Tendulkar] is a reluctant captain. It's his personal decision. And also, it has got to do with Bhajji [Harbhajan] winning the Champions League."

As captain of the Pune Warriors IPL team, Ganguly will go up against Harbhajan when Warriors take on Mumbai Indians on Friday at the Wankhede Stadium.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • panduka on April 9, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    He was a serious cricketer and a treat to watch. But his chances of playing for india again is remote. Perhaps he can play in tests if and when there is a need. Let him train spinners.

  • Kavin on April 7, 2012, 9:30 GMT

    Funny thing about Harbhajan's case is that the guy who replaced him is a ditto copy of him. Yep! Ashwin bowls just fine like Bhajji (He's isn't real threatening wicket taker, or in fact he is been bowling so pathetically bad off late too, after WI home tour in India) and can bat a bit too. The only thing separate the both is that Bhajji is miles ahead of super slow motion of Ashwin in terms of fielding and running. LOL!

  • Senthil on April 7, 2012, 9:23 GMT

    Okay, what are his credentials now? Being able to get under the skin of Australians, say some. He is not some ointment, is he? He is there to take wickets and he didn't do much for far too long. Let's hope for the best for Bhajji, but as the right option for Dhoni, I think Ashwin is far more potent simply because he can bowl in the powerplays, take wickets when needed, contain if necessary, and most of all, use his head calmly. If there is any competition in batting, Ashwin has shown his class. Bhajji had his chances. Let Ashwin get his due. It's nice to see competition amongst Ashwin, Rahul Sharma, Ojha and anybody else.

  • RAJARAMAN on April 7, 2012, 7:36 GMT

    So .. if you find yourself out of the team as a non-performing player ... become captain to be in Indian team .. . rubbish from Saurav ... to say that Bajji is a better captain than Sachin is one thing ... but equating IPL success (that too in one match) as captain to Indian team is ridiculous ... Saurav is trying to sow seeds of dissent/discontent in the team .. as he did in KKR ...

  • Vinoy on April 7, 2012, 7:34 GMT

    Ha...ha .... Dadas boys! Is that why you do not have a place in Indian XI. Really traumatic days for Indian cricket. If any of those who rave and rant against Ganguly Pune only a simple question? Did you see the match against Mumbais XI. That is captaincy.. Not hiding behind cool gogles and letting things drift witthout a clue about the match after the toss and customary media interrctions. Wooden captians make cool brands but do not win games.

  • Dummy4 on April 7, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    Funny DADA :D Pity u :( !!

  • Santanu on April 7, 2012, 7:03 GMT

    @sukuviju:Do you think if Dada criticize the board it will be unfair??? That man gave so much to indian cricket.........but never got his captaincy confirmed.......he was captain for one series at a time

  • Bimal on April 7, 2012, 6:53 GMT

    First let him improve his bowling and find a space in national team. Later we will think about captancy. And Ganguly, you are out of team and your days are over. Dont think that you are the ultimate word in Indian cricket. Millions are watching and they know who is who.

  • Sukumar on April 7, 2012, 5:41 GMT

    Harbhajan, Sehwag, Yuvraaj and Zaheer are all Dada's boys and he will always back them. As captain of Pune Warriors, he will want to beat Chennai to prove he is a better captain. He will next take a shot at administration and will be eyeing the BCCI president's job that goes on rotation.

  • Dummy4 on April 7, 2012, 5:36 GMT

    Oh yes, but the unfortunate part being, the rule that the captain has to be a part of the playing XI. I really dont see Harbhajan making it to the playing XI any time soon. And with the wrestling assignments(!), ground analysis (a role he has taken rather seriously) and Ambani cricket to keep him busy it would be logical to bid good bye to the blue jersey.

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