Harbhajan Singh refuses to be drawn into MS Dhoni-Virat Kohli leadership comparison

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BCCI

Harbhajan Singh refuses to be drawn into MS Dhoni-Virat Kohli leadership comparison

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SportsCafe Desk

01/20/2018

Harbhajan Singh has declined the opportunity to compare MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli’s captaincy as he claimed that they handled the role in different eras. The Indian spinner has also backed the team despite losing the Test series in South Africa, he believed India will bounce back stronger.

Under Dhoni’s captaincy, the Indian cricket team played 60 Tests where the team emerged victorious in 27 games, lost 18 while fifteen games ended as a draw. After Dhoni’s retirement from the longest format of the game, Kohli handled the responsibility and has a brilliant record of winning 20 gamers out of 34 Tests. 

Harbhajan who had the experience of playing under both players' guidance expressed that he can’t compare Dhoni and Kohli’s leadership as they led the side in different circumstances with different players.

"I don't want to compare. They played in different era. Every time we toured we had the best chance of winning. I don't want to compare teams of different era. Kohli with Dhoni or the former players like Rahul Dravid, VVS, and Sachin, says Harbhajan as quoted by PTI.

"Captaincy comes with a lot of responsibility. He has done really well so far. This was his first real overseas challenge. I don't call Sri Lanka a real overseas challenge with similar conditions (like India)."

Ahead of the South Africa tour, it was expected that this time team India could win the first-ever Test series on the Rainbow nation's soil but unfortunately, the team lost the first two games in the three-match Test series. Kohli’s decision of dropping Bhuvneshwar Kumar from the second Test despite a good performance in the Cape Town and didn’t include Ajinkya Rahane in the playing XI, who has a good record in the overseas was questioned by many. In the first Test, the visitors got a target of 208 to win and in the second game, the target was 287. Both the time the numbers were achievable considering India’s strong batting line-up but they failed to do so.

Harbhajan, who played 103 Tests for Indian claiming 417 wickets, backed the skipper and hoped that the team would bounce back in the remaining matches of the series as after the third Test in Johannesburg on January 24. The team is scheduled to play six ODIs and three T20I games.

"Everybody wants to improve. Let's support the team in this hour. We have not played as well as we would have expected. Maybe next time. This is a great learning curve. Hopefully, we will bounce back strongly. They need to back each other," Harbhajan said.

Kohli continued his brilliant performance with the bat throughout in 2017 as he ten Tests scoring 1059 runs at an average of 75.64 including five centuries. In the 50-over format, he played 26 games where he scored 1460 runs at an average of 76.84 including six centuries and seven half-centuries. His performance helped him in getting the ICC Cricketer of the Year award and the 29-year-old also bagged the top honors in ODIs.

"Kohli has been setting very high standards. I'm very happy to see him at the top of this game."

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