Harbhajan Singh, the legendary spinner of Indian cricket, was a vital member of the squads that clinched two World Cup titles during his illustrious international career. India’s victory in the 2007 World T20 in South Africa and the iconic 2011 ODI World Cup at home are unforgettable moments in Indian cricket history. However, one intriguing aspect remains a mystery for Harbhajan and fans alike: the set of players who won the 2011 World Cup final against Sri Lanka at Wankhede Stadium never played together for India again.
Harbhajan Singh expressed his bewilderment over why the winning 2011 World Cup squad never reunited for a match or another tournament. Despite their victorious campaign and the presence of iconic players like Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Zaheer Khan, and others, the team was never assembled again. The absence of a follow-up tournament or match for the successful squad remains a mystery even Harbhajan cannot explain.
“This I don’t know that. They were probably used till the World Cup only and it’s a mystery for me too why that team never played again even for a match, very surprising. I hope, I wish things it could be rectified,” Harbhajan told News24.
Harbhajan acknowledged that while some players might have retired after the 2011 World Cup, others like himself, Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir, and others could have continued to represent India longer. Harbhajan hopes the situation can be rectified and the squad could have had more opportunities to showcase their talent as a cohesive unit.
“There were some players in that team for whom it seemed like it was their last World Cup but there were few players who could have played. We could have played more – me, Yuvi, Gautam, several players could have played more. But let’s not talk about it, it’s all gone. It is beyond my understanding that the team was considered good till winning the 2011 World Cup but suddenly so many changes in that team after that. People who were winning games, they were no more good,” he said.
“It will be nice if we come together and play. It will be great fun but very unfortunate that the team didn’t assemble again and didn’t play another tournament or even a match,” he added.
Harbhajan Singh expressed his surprise at the significant changes in the team after the 2011 World Cup victory. Players instrumental in winning crucial games suddenly found themselves no longer considered for selection. While some players might have been at the end of their careers, others could have continued to contribute effectively to the team. Harbhajan’s sentiments highlight the complexities and uncertainties often accompanying team selections and player retirements in cricket.