Harbhajan wins the first battle on his route to redemption

Chennai: Harbhajan Singh as a captain of Mumbai Indians could not have asked for more when his side beat the defending champions Chennai Super Kings in their own den. And more ecstatic for ‘The Turbunator’ was the manner in which MI demolished the formidable side led by Captain Cool Dhoni.

An eight-wicket win in the inaugural match is sure going to be a booster for the Sardar who being out of the Indian squad not only has his reputation at stake and would want to prove a thing or two to stake his claim in the team, but as he said earlier after taking over the reins from Sachin Tendulkar, he and his team also want to make it an emotional moment for the Master Blaster by winning the trophy for the sake of the legend.

Speaking about the comprehensive victory, the wily sardar said that his team hoped to continue with the performance and would not let the momentum go. “It was a good win. Our bowlers did a fantastic job by restricting CSK for 112. Our fielding was superb. (MS) Dhoni’s run out was the turning point of the match according to me. Had he been on the crease along with Ravindra Jadeja, we would had to chase 40 odds run extra and it could have been anybody’s game then,” said Harbhan, adding that Richard Levi came up with that fantastic knock and that helped their cause while batting.

“Levi is a terrific player. His strength is that he can hit the ball hard and score quickly and that is why we picked him. Everything went on good for us in our inaugural match,” said Harbhajan, adding that it was a good toss for him to win on a wicket which had grass, bounce, unlike the Chennai turf on which they played.

Informing about Sachin Tendulkar who retired hurt after sustaining a finger injury in his left hand a Bollinger’s delivery, Harbhajan said he was hoping it was nothing major. “At the moment he is fine. His finger is little bit bruised. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he will be fine and ready for the next game,” said the captain.

The Turbunator, who led Mumbai Indians to the Champions League T20 title last year, said he was enjoying his stint as a captain. “We have got a very talented and young side. I’m honoured to captain the team. I keep things simple. I tell them to think like captains whenever they are in the middle. We are a bunch of guys who spend a lot of time with each other. We make sure we stay as friends. We are a close unit,” said Harbhajan.

Meanwhile, Dhoni admitted that it was a "rusty" start to their title defence. Dhoni said that another 30-odd runs could have made a difference on the pitch at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. "It is not a typical Chennai wicket. We started well but we didn't do well in the death overs, so it was a rusty start for the tournament. We did well, though, with the bowling," Dhoni said.

Meanwhile, man-of-match Richard Levi was all praise for Sachin Tendulkar with whom he opened the innings for the Mumbai Indians. He said that Sachin’s calmness at the other end helped him play his shots. “"It was fantastic batting with him. He was such a calming figure out there and so easy to talk to,” said Levi, adding that he hoped to continue performing with his willow.

By Indian Sports News