Mumbai, Apr 3: India's ace off-spinner Harbhajan Singh on Monday, was handed over the captaincy of Mumbai Indians by Sachin Tendulkar. The senior off spinner heaped praises on Tendulkar and said his presence and inputs are vital for the team success during the fifth edition of Indian Premier League.
During the Champions League T20 last year, Harbhajan was the stand-in captain replacing injured Tendulkar, which saw Mumbai Indians lift their first trophy.
"He is the reason for many of us to start playing cricket. Always great to have him in the team," he said underlining the importance of his presence, Harbhjan Said.
"Last year in the Champions League T20, he was not playing but his suggestions and inputs were as important as any other 11 walking on the field. He is going to make a big difference when he is there."
On returning to the national side, the off spinner said, "It is the prime thing. I would like to do well in the IPL. I have been playing domestic cricket. Playing for India is way bigger than IPL or the Champions League. As a player, I would love to be there as soon as possible and take the same place where I was and start winning games for Team India."
Speaking about their opponents Chennai Super Kings, Harbhajan said it was a strong side especially playing at home.
"They have won a lot of games in Chennai. They won the IPL twice, which no other team had done."
But he was optimistic his side would start its campaign on a winning note.
"I believe, if you put your act together and back your ability and have will and faith in your guys they can compete with any team in the competition. Day after will be a very good game. We would like to go out there and start on a winning note."
However, he refused to attach much significance to winning the first game.
"Obviously, starting well will be very good. But it is not how you start but how you finish matters most. I believe in finishing the race rather than starting," Harbhajan said.
On playing in Chennai, he said he had done well at the Chepauk and loved coming here again and again.
"Last year was very special moment for all of us. Playing for Mumbai Indians, we won the first trophy in the absence of key players including Tendulkar," he said.