Harbhajan Singh has been one of India's finest off-spinners who has won many matches for India and has also been a part of many famous wins. In his illustrious cricketing career, he has represented India in 4 World Cups and has been a part of the triumphant squad in the 2007 & 2011 editions. The off-spinner has 417 Test wickets and 269 ODI wickets to his name. Harbhajan Singh last played for India in a T20I in 2016 but his career could have finished way back in 2000 if it wasn’t for former India captain and current Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly.
Harbhajan Singh, who shares a close bond with Sourav Ganguly, narrated a heartfelt story in a quiz show hosted by Sourav Ganguly named "Dadagiri". He revealed how Ganguly resurrected his cricket career by picking him for the home series against Australia back in 2001. Harbhajan Singh said that he was dropped for a long time and was discarded by the National Cricket Academy (NCA) before the Australia series due to which he was in the lowest phase of his life. He added that if it wasn’t for his captain Sourav Ganguly, then he would have probably settled down in Canada like many of his friends. He went on to thank Ganguly for supporting him throughout his career.
Harbhajan Singh further said that he didn't have many options in that series and he had to pick wickets otherwise it could have been his last series for India. Anil Kumble, who was then the leading spinner for India, was injured and that paved the way for Harbhajan Singh's entry into the team. The offie justified his selection in the first test in Mumbai as he picked up four wickets in the first innings. But his moment of glory came in the second Test in Kolkata when he went on to claim a Test hat-trick and became the first Indian bowler to do so.
Recalling the feat, Harbhajan Singh said that it was an unbelievable moment for him. He added that the only greater moment for him was when they won the 2007 T20 World Cup and then the 2011 ODI World Cup. He went on to say how that moment was special because the crowd and his teammates celebrated like it was their own hat-trick. He also said that for the first time, he saw Rahul Dravid celebrating like that and added that it was not his hat-trick, it was India’s hat-trick. Harbhajan Singh went on to pick up 32 wickets in the three-match series which India won by 2-1 and went on to become one of India's best spinners.
IMAGE COURTESY: HARBHAJAN SINGH INSTAGRAM