'It was love at first sight' - Sourav Ganguly when he saw Harbhajan Singh's heroics against Australia at Eden

‘It was love at first sight’ – Sourav Ganguly when he saw Harbhajan Singh’s heroics against Australia at Eden

Ganguly also mentioned that his faith in the fearless youngsters who had come in at that point of time, helped a lot of them grow into the champions they are.

Test matches between India and South Africa
(© DESHAKALYAN CHOWDHURY/AFP/Getty Images)

It is no secret that under the leadership of Sourav Ganguly, fondly called ‘Dada’ by his teammates, there was no scarcity of love between the players. And, in the case of Harbhajan Singh and Sourav Ganguly, it was no different.

Sourav was known in the cricketing circles to be the captain who loved fearless and flamboyant players in his side. So it was natural when that when Harbhajan came along in the side, Dada fell in love with the young bloke. In the Test series that Sourav referred to, the match at Eden Gardens that is often remembered to be Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman’s match, Harbhajan had also performed exceptionally well. He had taken 13 wickets in that match and mesmerised his captain with that performance.

Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly termed his first impression of Harbhajan during the historic 2001 Test series against Australia as ‘love at first sight’. “They say it’s love at first sight. And when I saw Harbhajan bowl at Eden, picking up 14 wickets (in actual fact 13 wickets) it was love at first sight for a cricketer who I believed would go on to change things for Indian cricket,” said Ganguly while recalling Harbhajan’s bowling performance at Eden in 2001, as quoted by IndiaToday.

Sourav Ganguly heaps praise on Harbhajan Singh

From then on, Harbhajan joined Dada’s famous list of match-winners in his team. And, win matches for him he did. After his debut in 1999, Harbhajan’s career blossomed under Sourav’s captaincy and he went on to take 800 wickets in international cricket and registered his name in the list of greatest spinners of all time.

Carrying on with his praise, Sourav said that the team was worried about the absence of the ace spinner Anil Kumble for that match but Harbhajan, a young man, beaming with talent came into the rescue. Sourav said ’Anil Kumble not playing in India is a huge, huge difference to any team. We worked hard before the Test series. John Wright was very important to us. And Harbhajan Singh bowled like a champion.’

Ganguly also mentioned that his faith in the fearless youngsters who had come in at that point of time, helped a lot of them grow into the champions they are.

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