The Cricket World Cup 2023 campaign is set to get underway for India, with a match against Australia set to take place on Sunday. India, who last became world champions in 2011, are likely to see superstars like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, etc. feature in their last ODI World Cup. It is often said that the 2011 Indian squad wanted to win the World Cup for the great Sachin Tendulkar. There are those who wonder if that would be the case for Virat Kohli this time. When Harbhajan Singh was asked this question, he gave a rather eye-opening answer.
In a chat on India Today, Harbhajan Singh said that he doesn’t feel the 2023 World Cup’s Indian team is as united as the 2011 World Cup team was.
“There’s a big difference between the two teams. That team (2011 World Cup-winning Indian side) was a lot more united. They wanted to win the World Cup for Sachin Tendulkar. He commanded a lot of respect from others. I am not sure about this team. Don’t know who all want to win the World Cup for Virat Kohli. But, they want to win for India for sure. This is a big difference,” he said.
Harbhajan further explained his point as he said that the entire team respected Tendulkar to the extent that all the players wanted to win the World Cup for him. He isn’t sure if players are that united about Kohli in the current team.
“The respect that Sachin Tendulkar had in the 2011 team dressing room, no other player has had since then. MS Dhoni also earned a lot of respect but I don’t think after that the same has happened with any player.
“They all (Indian players) want to win for the country but not for an individual player. Virat would also want to win for the country, winning for himself is a bonus. This is my belief,” Harbhajan elaborated.
“It’s for India. You play for that flag. I played only for India, not for an individual. No matter if my captain was Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid or MS Dhoni, it didn’t matter for me. All that mattered to me was that I was playing for India. It is always about ‘India should win’ not ‘Virat Kohli should win’ or ‘Rahul Dravid should win’,” the former India spinner asserted.
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