Harbhajan Singh came out to defend the newcomer Shardul Thakur who got involved in a controversy for donning the legendary No. 10 Jersey which belonged to Sachin Tendulkar. Tendulkar's fans got angry after the incident and slammed Thakur for wearing that and even asked him to change it next time.
Pacer Shardul Thakur made his debut in the fourth ODI against Sri Lanka and showcased an impressive performance in the fourth ODI in which India thrashed Sri Lanka in Colombo. Thakur bowled seven overs for 26 runs and took a wicket as well, however, his performance was overshadowed by a controversy.
The jersey no. 10, of legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar, holds a significant status in the hearts and minds of every Indian cricket fan. And the people, especially Sachin fans noticed Thakur sporting the No. 10 jersey. This angered the fans and they took to social media platforms like Twitter to vent out the disappointment and criticise the 25-year-old. They also requested the BCCI to retire the number. However, veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, came forward to defend the Mumbai pacer on this issue.
"What's the poor guy's fault if he wore that jersey? If he's grown up watching Tendulkar, it may have been his dream to wear the No. 10 jersey and play for India, for which he's worked hard. It could be his way of paying tribute to the great man or emulate him, or it could be his lucky number," said Singh, who has been a close friend of Tendulkar over the years.
"Everyone has their emotions. We all respect Sachin paaji. No one wore that jersey till the time he was playing. That jersey will live on forever.
"Personally, I don't see anything wrong with anyone wearing his jersey. We should encourage youngsters to do well in this game and win games for India, just like Tendulkar did. It's unfair to criticise Shardul for this and drag him into this unnecessary controversy. Tomorrow, you may say that no one can wear Virender Sehwag's No 45, or MS Dhoni's No 7 jersey," added the 37-year-old.
"And see, by just wearing Tendulkar's jersey, no one will become Tendulkar. Tendulkar will remain at the top as always -highly respected and regarded. When you're allowed to wear that number and it's available, why not wear it?" the Turbunator concluded addressing the ignited Sachin fans.