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Can Harbhajan achieve what Tendulkar failed to?

Last updated on: April 4, 2012 07:03 IST

Can Harbhajan achieve what Tendulkar failed to?

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Both names carry considerable repute in Indian cricket. Both have had a forgettable year, so to speak. 

And both play for the same franchise when it comes to the Indian Premier League. 

Thus, when Sachin Tendulkar handed over the captaincy of Mumbai Indians to Harbhajan Singh, it didn't quite come in as a surprise. 

The Master Blaster, despite a good personal record in the T20 event, had failed to inspire the outfit. In the four seasons preceding this, a second place finish in the third season was the best the Mumbai team had achieved. 

Despite having a host of big names in their ranks it was inconsistent, to say the least. Tendulkar's captaincy has been comme ci comme ca. 

In fact, those who captained the side in his absence -- Shaun Pollock, Harbhajan -- had better fortunes than the Master.




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Tendulkar under tremendous pressure in recent times

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Tendulkar was under tremendous pressure from all quarters in the last year because of his 'century of centuries' and the pressure did affect his performance to a considerable extent during the period. 

Though the legendary batsman eventually achieved the milestone - against Bangladesh in the recent Asia Cup - it was clear that the pressure had taken its toll and Tendulkar wasn't ready to take on another responsibility so soon, especially at a time when he is basking in the glory of that personal milestone. 

Harbhajan's fortunes, on the other hand, was in sharp contrast. As a player he had a disastrous year, with not one performance worthy of mention. So poor was the off-spinner's form that he even failed to impress in any of the many domestic events he played in. 

The only saving grace for him in the period, though, was as Mumbai Indians captain. In Tendulkar's absence, he led Mumbai Indians to the Champions League T20 crown last September, the franchise's first title of any kind. 
 




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Additional responsibility could just spur Harbhajan

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Tendulkar relinquishing his position to Harbhajan could have a two-fold effect: on the one hand it would definitely help Tendulkar, sans any responsibility (read pressure) focus solely on his batting, and, secondly, additional responsibility might just help Harbhajan get back into rhythm. 

Having won the Champions League last year, Mumbai Indians' owners, and fans, will be hoping for nothing less than a maiden IPL title for the franchise. Amid such expectation, a change in guard could well do the trick. 

Can Harbhajan achieve what Tendulkar failed to as a captain? 

- Tell us!




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