The year 2021 ends with another cricketing legend bidding farewell to the game. Harbhajan Singh, also called Bhajji called it quits in his recent social media post. Featuring 367 international matches, the Turbanator was a doyen of the art of off-spin who won several games for his nation.
Despite making his debut in 1998, it was the home series against the Aussies in 2001 when Singh became the King of Indian Cricket. The Australians were unbeatable in that era, and Harbhajan was brought in to fill in the huge boots of the genius Anil Kumble.
When a young lad from Jalandhar roared against the Aussies
The Kangaroos were shocked by the young man from Jalandhar as they failed to pick his turn. A team that boasted of batters like Steve Waugh, Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist had no reply when they faced him in Kolkata and Chennai. The Kolkata spell was quite special as Harbhajan claimed a sensational Test hattrick in the 1st innings dismissing Ponting, Gilchrist, and Warne.
Singh ended the match with 13 scalps in front of a roaring Eden Gardens. In Chepauk, he took 15 wickets and coincidentally was also the batter to hit the winning runs of the match and the high voltage series where the mighty Australians were bulldozed by a young off-spinner who made it clear he was here to stay.
Singh is King: Bringing glory to the nation
Despite many more iconic performances in that series, Singh got the Man of the Series award and his performances at Kolkata and Chennai earned the distinction of being in Wisden’s top 100 bowling performances of all time.
The Turbanator of Indian Cricket had no looking back after that series. He and Kumble become one of the greatest spin jodis of international cricket for a long time. Singh had a fair share of controversies in his career. From being involved in the infamous Monkeygate scandal to a fight in an IPL match, Bhajji saw it all.
Champions at World Stage
His presence on the field always involved a lot of joy and cheer to his fans. Singh was part of India’s illustrious WT20 victory in 2007 and the WC win in 2011. Harbhajan is India’s 4th highest wicket-taker of all time in Tests with 417 wickets. He was a success for India across all formats.
Bhajji in IPL: Unforgettable memories
In IPL, Bhajji was a long-time player for the Mumbai Indians and even led the franchise to a Champions League victory. He in all won 3 IPL titles with MI and 1 with CSK. In the last season, he was a part of the runners-up KKR squad. But he could only play a few matches for the franchise.
Best wishes Turbanator, for the second innings!
Harbhajan presently works as a commentator and has a career in films too. Harbhajan Singh will be remembered as a cricketer with immense contributions to the sport and the nation. He will go down as one of the best spinners to have played the game. Will miss you, Bhajji!
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