“It’s good to see the way Virat Kohli conducts himself. I feel this is the brilliant way forward for Indian cricket. Going to play with the right body language, fighting it out for India with a zeal to get the right result, we need such a spirit, which Virat Kohli has,” Harbhajan said in a television show, Aap Ki Adalat.
“Whether it’s his own or he may have taken it from me, I feel it’s a great sign for Indian cricket, to take India to difficult heights.”
The offie also spoke about his former team-mate Anil Kumble who was recently roped in to coach the national outfit.
“Anilbhai is a man I respect a lot. I played with him for many years. I learnt one thing from him in life — ‘Don’t ever give up’. He was a cricketer with a serious bent of mind. He knows my mischievous nature. I don’t think he had any problems with me ever,” he said.
“I agree Anilbhai had to sit outside because of me, because in those days I was playing well. I myself felt bad seeing him sit outside, because I was only 20 then, I was doing well, and my captain chose me.”
Harbhajan also said it is always a special moment winning India-Pakistan games and believes the hype around the high voltage encounter is all media generated.
“As a player, I feel great after defeating a big team. In those days the Pakistan team was a great team too. They had players like Wasim Akram, Waqar Younus, Saqlain Mushtaq and Shoaib Akhtar. For us that used to be a special game, a special moment. I feel media creates too much hype for India-Pakistan matches,” he remarked.
In 2007-08 Harbhajan was charged with racial abuse against Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds. The incident became famous as the ‘monkeygate’ scandal but the tweaker denied having abused him.
“I didn’t say monkey. It was their allegation. I only told him – ‘teri maa ki…haath ki roti khaane ko bada dil kar raha hai’ (Feel like eating chapattis made by your mother) (smiling). He didn’t listen at all. Anyway, he didn’t know Hindi, and I did not know English,” he said.
On the infamous incident in which Sreesanth was slapped, Harbhajan said: “Actually, he did a ‘nautanki’ (drama). It was my fault that I did that (slapping) on the ground. I have admitted in all my interviews that I committed this mistake in my life.”