It’s a team game: Harbhajan Singh schools MS Dhoni fan

Former Indian offie and AAP MP at his sarcastic best as he criticises tweet that praises Dhoni following India’s WTC final loss

| Updated: 13 June, 2023 12:00 am IST
Harbhajan Singh took a sarcastic tone to admonish a MS Dhoni fan for supporting his idol (Photo Courtesy Twitter @harbhajan_singh)

NEW DELHI: In the wake of India’s defeat in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia, Harbhajan Singh took a sarcastic dig at a tweet praising MS Dhoni’s contributions. The former spinner dissected the tweet, highlighting what he perceived as its shortcomings.

After India’s resounding 209-run defeat at the hands of Australia in the WTC final, a tweet praising Dhoni caused a stir on the internet. It read, “No coach, no mentor, young boys, most of the senior players denied taking part. Never captained a single match before. This guy defeated prime Australia in the semifinals and won a T20 World Cup in 48 days after becoming captain.”

The tweet referred to Dhoni’s remarkable victory in the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup in 2007, shortly after India’s disappointing exit from the 50-over World Cup in the West Indies.

As history recalls, Dhoni fearlessly led a team of young players in that tournament, defeating formidable opponents such as South Africa, England, and Pakistan (twice), as well as Australia in the semifinals, as mentioned in the tweet.

Four years later, he elevated his achievements by winning the World Cup for India in 2011 and securing another triumph in the Champions Trophy final against England in 2013.

While these accomplishments are undoubtedly brilliant, exceptional, and significant, Indian cricket has progressed since then, and constant reminiscences of Dhoni’s feats tend to have a counterproductive effect.

ALSO READ: WTC final: India fall short again

In the current age of social media, which often serves as a catalyst for emotional reactions, Harbhajan Singh took to Twitter to criticise the tweet and remind everyone that cricket is a team sport, not solely dependent on the captain’s performance.

“Yes, when these matches were played, this young boy was playing alone from India… not the other 10. So, alone, he won the World Cup trophies. The irony is that when Australia or any other nation wins the World Cup, headlines say Australia or (insert country) won. But when India wins, it’s said that the captain won. It’s a team sport. Win together, lose together,” the Aam Aadmi Party Rajya Sabha MP from Punjab tweeted.

It has become a peculiar trend that whenever the Indian cricket team fails to clinch an ICC trophy, MS Dhoni, seemingly through no effort of his own, becomes a hot topic on Twitter.

Dhoni’s fans on the platform consistently remind everyone of his achievements as captain, being the only skipper to have won all three major ICC titles – the T20 World Cup, the 50-over World Cup, and the Champions Trophy. Undoubtedly, Dhoni’s contributions to Indian cricket will be cherished forever. However, for some of his former teammates, including former India opener Gautam Gambhir, it becomes a bit excessive to bring it up after every tournament.

Despite being a part of both Indian squads that won the World Cups in 2007 and 2011, Harbhajan faced criticism for his remarks. Some fans deemed it a “new low” for former Indian cricketers to respond to fan tweets, while others recalled the infamous “slap-gate” incident involving Harbhajan and S. Sreesanth during the inaugural IPL.

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