MI's stand-in skipper, Harbhajan talks about captaincy before Saturday's tie against Somerset
Mumbai Indians' stand-in skipper Harbhajan Singh spoke to MiD DAY ahead of his team's Champions League Twenty20 semi-final against Somerset.
Cheers guys: Mumbai Indians skipper Harbhajan Singh before
the start of the CLT20 tourney in Bangalore recently. PIC/Satish
How has the experience been to captain the side? You've said that it was one of your dreams...
It was a great opportunity to lead Mumbai Indians. It's a similar scenario to the first IPL when Sachin was not available, but I am more mature now. I have learnt a lot playing alongside Sachin. Young MI players were determined and waiting for an opportunity to prove themselves in the team. We started as underdogs, played freely... tried to enjoy ourselves on the field. Above all, Mumbai Indians owner Mrs Nita Ambani's support has been incredible!
How is the dressing room atmosphere in the absence of Sachin Tendulkar?
The players are geared up to show their mettle. Sachin is obviously being missed, but it is nice to have him around even when he is not playing. He is a great player and a great motivator. He has loads of knowledge and experience to pass on.
In the absence of seniors, it must be pleasing to see youngsters like Sarul Kanwar and Yuzvendra Chahal coming to the party...
To be honest, it is difficult not to have Sachin, Rohit Sharma and Munaf Patel in the side. Young players like Sarul Kanwar and Yuzvendra Chahal are cementing their place with all the talent they have. Every player has contributed in some way or the other way.
How difficult is it to switch to T20 mode as a bowler after the tours of West Indies and England?
Being a professional cricketer, you have to adapt to the conditions quickly. It takes time to get rhythm when you are constantly traveling from one country to another.
And finally, was it distracting to hear that you have not been selected in ODI team squad. How have you handled the criticism around you?
I am here to play for Mumbai Indians and would like to focus on how to excel.