Sachin is god of cricket: Harbhajan
When it comes to taking inspiration, Sachin Tendulkar is the only name that comes to seasoned India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh's mind.
Harbhajan says he was amazed to see the deep passion with which Tendulkar still approaches the game even after 20 successful years in international cricket and considers himself lucky to have played under the leadership of the legendary batsman.
"Sachin, to me he's not 37, he still looks 25. The way he bats, the way he runs around and the way he does all the work or whatever that is required to be there where he's today and I think he is tremendous," Harbhajan said.
"He's god of not just Indian cricket, he's god of (world) cricket and he's just someone who's always there for you. Obviously, it is great to have him as a leader of Mumbai Indians and he's been a great motivator for all of us. He has been a great role model for all of us," he added.
Image: Harbhajan Singh
'Sachin played important role in Mumbai Indians making IPL 3 final'
Harbhajan also did not have any hesitation in admitting that Sachin played an important role in their final appearance in the third edition of the Indian Premier League earlier this year.
"I think he played a lot of good innings during the IPL III and if I have to pick one innings, it would be that knock against Rajasthan (Royals) in Jaipur. That was fantastic and set up the game for us in the last three overs," Harbhajan told ESPN.
"I think he scored about 50-odd runs in the last three overs after we were just 110 in the 17th over. That's where he changed the game. Scoring, I think, 15-20 runs in an over that was the best I have seen of him in IPL III, that was my favourite innings," he added.
Image: Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh
'We have players to take on any challenge'
Harbhajan said that the Mumbai Indians players are gearing up to put their best foot forward in the Champions League T20 commencing from tomorrow in South Africa.
"Our team is very excited about this competition in South Africa because this is a tournament in which we would like to play well. We are very happy that we have qualified for this tournament and we are up for it.
"I'm sure it is going to be very challenging and very tough out there, but I'm sure we have got players who can play in any kind of conditions and take on any kind of challenges. We are really up for and looking forward to this event to begin," he said.
Image: Mumbai Indians at IPL-3
'South African players give Mumbai Indians an edge'
Harbhajan also felt that South African players, like Jean-Paul Duminy, will give Mumbai Indians a distinct advantage during the CLT20.
"It's nice to have South African players in our team, because they have played a lot of cricket there and they know the conditions, like how the wickets gonna play. Duminy has played a lot of cricket over there and he has been very successful.
"So has Ryan McLaren and it's also great to have Jonty (Rhodes) with us. He's fantastic with the team and Jonty will be very, very helpful because he has played a lot of cricket there and hopefully with their knowledge we will have an advantage over others," Harbhajan said.
The spinner also had words of praise for his Team India skipper and Chennai Super Kings leader Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
"Dhoni, I don't think anyone can match his ability in hitting sixes. The kind of ability Dhoni has -- he can hit your good balls for six -- and same goes with Saurav Tiwari," he said.
Image: J P Duminy