Hostility from Indian fans can motivate Steve Smith, says Harbhajan Singh

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Hostility from Indian fans can motivate Steve Smith, says Harbhajan Singh

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SportsCafe Desk

03/15/2017

Harbhajan Singh feels that the hostility of the Indian fans towards Steve Smith can help in motivating the Australian captain ahead of the 3rd Test in Ranchi. Harbhajan has also blamed the media for sensationalizing the DRS-gate and dragging Smith and Virat Kohli into the center of this media storm.

Recalling the monkey-gate incident of 2008 Border-Gavaskar series, when Harbhajan Singh faced a lot of abuse from the Australian fans, the off-spinner has said that those jeers provided him the motivation to do well. The 36-year-old also feels that Steve Smith might find similar motivation amid all the abuse he has been subjected to by the Indian fans following his DRS gaffe in the Bengaluru Test.

“For me, it was just a simple thing. That motivated me to do even better. When people were going against me that motivated me to do even better.

“Every time I went out to bowl or bat in Australia people booed at me so I felt that I’m the most recognised man out there on the Australian earth – so whether they like me or not, they’re there to watch me do what I do.

“That was to show everyone the things I could do with the ball or bat in my hand and that’s exactly what I did – it motivated me to do even better, rather than focusing on what happened and why this happened.

“It’s OK, things happen on the ground. We should let it be there and play the next game and let the bat and ball talk,” Harbhajan told the Daily Telegraph.

The off-spinner has also sympathized with Smith and Virat Kohli for how the media has been blowing the issue out of proportion and the duo have been dragged into the middle of a media storm. He said, “Obviously it’s something which they both would not want to keep on hanging around. I do sympathise with them with the media dragging them into this rather than the right focus which is cricket.

“I don’t know what Steve Smith is all about. People have different things to say or different personalities. But he’s a top player and I wish him to do well whenever he plays.”

Harbhajan, who has appeared in 103 Tests for India, has also criticized the pitches that have been used so far in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar series.

“It should be top competition between the two teams rather than the game being over in three days or two and a half days. No one is benefiting.

“Yes we want to see the results, but I would like to see one team trying to win the game on the fifth day and one team trying to defend the team on the fifth day. That would be Test cricket at its best.

“When it’s two teams of this calibre, that should be the competition we want to see,” he explained.

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