Harbhajan Singh believes that the criticism directed at Rohit Sharma has been excessive and unwarranted. He acknowledges that cricket is a team sport and no individual alone can bear the responsibility of the team's performance.
"I find that people are going a bit overboard... The way Rohit has been criticised. Cricket is a team sport and one individual cannot take you from one place to other," Harbhajan told PTI in an interview ahead of India's next Test assignment against the West Indies.
While accepting that the Indian team didn't fare well in the WTC final, Harbhajan emphasizes that it is unfair to solely blame Rohit for the team's shortcomings, including concerns about his form, fitness, and captaincy. The veteran spinner reiterates that Rohit is, in fact, a brilliant leader.
"Team India didn't do well in WTC final, and yes, you talk about that performance and move on from there. But it is unfair to criticise Rohit alone, that he is not scoring runs, putting on weight, not captaining well. I think he is a brilliant leader," the veteran of 103 Tests added.
Having played with Rohit and observed him closely, Harbhajan Singh holds him in high regard as a leader. He highlights the respect Rohit commands not only in the Mumbai Indians dressing room but also in the Indian team.
“I have played with him (Rohit) and watched him closely. He commands a lot of respect not only in MI dressing room but also in the Indian dressing room. So I think it's unfair to judge him on basis of recent results,” Harbhajan said.
Harbhajan believes that it is crucial to have faith in Rohit's leadership abilities and to support him during challenging times, "He will come good and we need to show faith in him and we need to support him rather than pinpointing that you are not doing this or that."
Throughout Indian cricket history, successful captains have received implicit backing from the BCCI and influential administrators. The likes of Sourav Ganguly, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and Virat Kohli enjoyed the support and endorsement of key figures within the cricket board.
Harbhajan Singh expresses his hope that Rohit Sharma is receiving the necessary support from the BCCI. He emphasizes that having the support of the cricket board provides captains with the liberty to make decisions without unnecessary scrutiny.
"If you have the support from BCCI, you can work freely. Not just MS Dhoni or Virat Kohli, if you go back a little further, a lot of captains have got support from BCCI presidents of that time.
"Rohit must be getting support from BCCI. I don't know how much support he must be getting (though). Having that kind of support will help him take right kind of decision at the right time.
"He will get that liberty if he has that support. Support must be there for Rohit like BCCI has given it to all its captains," the 'Turbanator' said.">