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Bhajji mellows with added responsibility

cricket Updated: Feb 28, 2011 01:06 IST
Sanjjeev Karan Samyal
Sanjjeev Karan Samyal
Hindustan Times
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With seniority comes added responsibility. The Harbhajan Singh, who is leading India's charge at the World Cup, is a much mellowed, matured personality. The hot-headed, carefree character is a thing of the past.

His contribution now is more than being the spearhead of the spin attack. He has been entrusted with the leadership role as the head of India's spin pack.

The result is that you can see him in more thoughtful moments during the training sessions and match situations. We are looking at a more responsible Harbhajan. Given his volatile temperament, the occasional flare-up in the heat of the battle may still take place, but there's no mistaking that he is taking his leadership role quite seriously.

After a hard day's workout in the nets on the eve of India's game against England, all the players had moved into the comfortable confines of the dressing room, while Harbhajan spent an extra hour on the field doing yoga and a stretching session with the team's trainer.

In fact, he was among the last batch of the Indian players to leave the stadium. After finishing the day's work, late in the evening he returned to the ground to take a walk up to the square, on the way bending down at various spots to check the dew factor with his
palms.

He spend quite some time, rubbing his palms, lost deep in thought, obviously planning his next day's strategy of bowling on the wet surface due to the late evening dew.

It's normally the pace bowlers who select the ball. But, his bowling partners trust Harbhajan's judgement in this task too.

On Sunday at the start of the game, he was the one who checked out the balls from the box brought out by umpire Aleem Dar. Leadership brings out the best in some players. India will hope it has the same effect on Harbhajan during this World Cup too.