A spinner, bowling legend and a villain for the Australian fans, Harbhajan Singh has surprisingly vouched for Steven Smith over the DRS controversy in the Bengaluru Test, saying that booing the Aussie skipper in the third Test at Ranchi could motivate him to perform extraordinarily well.
In the second game of the series, Smith and Kohli stole the spotlight over the Dressing Room – DRS drama, which had media talking about it all over, and to an extent, seemed like stretching the matter way too much. Taking their side, Harbhajan said dragging the issue isn’t good and that Smith is a class player and has the tendency to tackle situations well.
“Obviously it’s something which they both would not want to keep on hanging around. I do sympathize 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.”
Not long back, the offie had his fair share of criticism Down Under when he was involved in the monkey-gate incident with Andrew Symonds and was booed to a large extent. Speaking to The Telegraph, Harbhajan said he knows what it’s like to be on the receiving end, but that actually motivated him to perform to the best of his ability.
Recalling the controversial 2008 Sydney Test, he said the crowd was after him till the end and it was enough to keep his hopes high of performing well under such tricky circumstances. Bhajji added the hatred did trouble him a bit but he was lucky to come out on top.
“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 recognized 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.”
Earlier, the 36-year-old predicted a 4-0 scoreline in India’s favour but admitted the fight shown by Australia is impressive and expects the forthcoming games in Ranchi and Dharamsala to be enthralling.
“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 caliber, that should be the competition we want to see.”