Dravid's return will bolster team: Harbhajan

Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh on Sunday hailed Rahul Dravid's return to the one-day side, saying his experience is just what the team needed.

updated: August 16, 2009 11:03 IST
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Baruipur (Kolkata):

Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh on Sunday hailed Rahul Dravid's return to the one-day side, saying the veteran batsman's experience is just what the team needed ahead of this year's Champions Trophy.

"(It's) good to have him back in the side. Rahul Dravid is a great player. He is one of the best players India has produced. It's great for the side," Harbhajan, who was here to lay the foundation stone of a medical institute, said.

Apart from Dravid, veteran Sachin Tendulkar also returns to the one day team for next month's tri-series in Sri Lanka and the subsequent Champions Trophy in South Africa.

Harbhajan said the experience of both the players would lend balance to the team.

"We have some senior players like Tendulkar and Dravid back in the side, so we have the required experience. At the same time, this will give an opportunity to the youngsters like RP Singh to cement their place in the side. I am sure we will do well in the tri-series," Harbhajan said.

Even though the focus is more on winning the Champions Trophy, Harbhajan said it was imperative for the team to perform well in Sri as it will set the tone for the next big assignment.

"It is important to do well as after the tri-series, we have important tournament like Champions Trophy coming up. Responsibility will be there on all the players as cricket is a team game," he said.

Even though India could not defend their title in the previous ICC event - the World Twenty20 in England -Harbhajan hoped they would get back to the winning track. "We should forget what happened in the ICC Word Twenty20. We have won almost against all the countries. We have done well. In my eyes, we are the number one side in the world irrespective of the rankings. We need to believe in ourselves and do well in the tri-series," he said.

Talking about the controversial 'whereabout' clause of the new World Anti-Doping Agency code, Harbhajan once again asked all other sportspersons to mind their business and stop advising the cricketers, who have rejected the clause.

"It is not necessary that our opinions should match with them. We respect what they have done for the country and they should also respect what we have done," Harbhajan said.

"There is absolutely no need for them to comment on what we are doing. We are not intervening in their affairs, so they should also respect our opinion," he said.

Harbhajan also threw his weight behind Sourav Ganguly, saying the former India captain should lead Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League if the beleaguered side was to do well in the Twenty20 tournament.

"I am sure Knight Riders will do well if he returns as captain. He had set the momentum for India after the match-fixing scandal," Harbhajan said of his former India captain.