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Sachin-Viru's stay in first 15 overs will be key: Harbhajan

February 02, 2011 20:29 IST

Strong starts by the opening duo of Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag would be key to India's success at the forthcoming World Cup, off-spinner Harbhajan Singh said on Wednesday. 

The feisty 30-year-old off-spinner said the feat of the 1983 World Cup, when Kapil Dev and Co stunned one and all by lifting the coveted trophy, inspires him a lot. 

"I am always reminded of the 1983 World Cup, have seen the clippings so many times. This time around, if Sachin and Sehwag stay together at the crease for the first 15 overs, it would be very difficult for the opposition to come back into the match," Harbhajan told reporters.

Harbhajan SinghHarbhajan's bonding with Tendulkar is well documented and the 'Turbanator' is hoping that the Mubaikar continues his hugely successful pairing with the Delhi dazzler in the quadrennial extravaganza, starting February 19 in Bangladesh. 

"Both Sachin and Sehwag are great cricketers and I hope they help us win the World Cup. Like all Indians, I am also looking forward to a good show in the World Cup," he said. 

The off-spinner was in the Capital to support a campaign against rode rage and drunken driving but refused to endorse those who tried to draw a parallel between rode rage and sledging in cricket.

"Sledging is part and parcel of the game. It just adds a bit of momentum to the game and, as a cricketer, we don't carry anything off the field. Road rage is quite harmful and it hurts you for life long," he said. 

To the surprise of quite a few, Harbhajan also said that neither he nor does team India drink. 

Asked about Andrew Symonds, one of the the protagonists of the infamous 'Monkey-gate' and with whom he will be sharing the Mumbai Indians dressing room in the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Harbhajan gave the impression that the hatchet has been buried. 

"I am looking forward to winning the IPL along with him," Harbhajan said. Symonds and troubles often go hand in hand and asked about the burly Australian's conduct off the field that had an impact on his professional career, Harbhajan was guarded. 

"What Symonds has done with his career is his personal choice and I don't want to talk about any individuals," was the offie's reply when a journo asked him about Symonds, probably keeping in mind the occasion. 

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