India’s 2001 series win over Steve Waugh’s top performing Australian team established Sourav Ganguly as team’s undisputed leader. The win over the visitors started an era in which he saw India’s rise in international cricket. The legendary cricketer led the Men in Blue victory in the 2003 Natwest Series and to the final of the 2003 World Cup.
Among the main contributors of the 2001 series win was Harbhajan Singh. The former spinner, who was 21 at that time, became the first Indian bowler to take a Test hat-trick in the Kolkata Test.
It was Sourav who had backed Bhajji to play that series against Australia, which turned out to be a breakthrough moment in spinner’s career.
Harbhajan stated that Ganguly’s decision to include him in the squad was important to the latter’s career as well.
“Sourav Ganguly would have been sacked if he had not included me in the squad. Winning Test series against Australia was important for him as well. The selectors would have removed him had we failed against the visitors,” he said on Sportskeeda.
The 41-year-old also thanked Sourav Ganguly for believing in him. However, Bhajji said that he would have not achieved success in his career had he not worked hard himself.