Saturday, March 2, 2024

Take a look at Harbhajan Singh’s Stellar International Career

India’s Turbunator Harbhajan Singh has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. Harbhajan, also known as Bhajji, was the second-best spinner bowler for India in all three formats. Bhajji paired with Anil Kumble to be the successful spinner in the international cricket arena.

The spin bowler was India’s trump card. He even guided India to any memorable wins at home and overseas. He was India’s dynamite in the ICC marquee events like World T20 in 2007 and ICC World Cup in 2011, these two tournaments which India won under the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Bhajji even bowled in that historic bowl out against Pakistan in the 2007 T20 World Cup in South Africa.

In the 2011 ICC World Cup at home, Harbhajan Singh played nine games and picked up nine wickets. He also scored a hundred in a Test match and guided India over the line by hitting a six to Mohammad Amir against Pakistan in the 2010 Asia Cup clash with the arch-rivals. Bhajji was also part of the Indian Premier League. He played for the Mumbai Indians franchise and also captained the MI team to the title win of the Champions League T20 tournament in 2011.

Later the off-spinner played for the CSK franchise in the cash-rich league tournament and the IPL 2018 season when Chennai Super Kings won their third title, Bhajji was part of their squad. He was also involved in a controversy in the inaugural season of the IPL 2008.  Bhajji had slapped S Sreeshant when the Kerala pace bowler wasn’t regular in celebrating a win against Mumbai Indians, and Harbhajan was the captain of the side that time.

Test Matches

Bhajji was just 17 years old when he played his debut test match against Australia in Bangalore in 1998. His first Test scalp was Greg Blewett. Harbhajan has played 103 Test matches for India in the longest format, and he has picked up 411 wickets to his name. Bhajji has 25 five-wicket hauls and five ten-wicket hauls in Test cricket. 

He even scored two centuries in the traditional format against New Zealand, and he has scored nine half-centuries to his name in Test match cricket. Overall he has scored 2225 runs, and his highest score is 114 runs in Test matches. He even picked up 32 wickets in a Test series which was a record in that series win against Australia. Bhajji’s best figure in innings was eight for 84, and the best figures in a match were 15 wickets for 217 runs.

One Day International Match

Bhajji made his debut in the fifty overs matches against New Zealand at Sharjah in 1998, the same year he made his Test debut against Australia. Matt Home of New Zealand was Bhajji’s first ODI wicket, and in all, he picked up 269 ODI wickets. Harbhajan was the leading player for India in the fifty overs and the main man for India in the 2007 and 2011 ICC World Cup events, which India won.

Bhajji was also part of the ICC 2003 fifty overs World Cup in South Africa.  India reached the final of that ICC event. But they lost to Australia by a heavy margin. Bhajji has even scored more than a thousand runs in the fifty overs format for India. He even guided the team over the line in a crunch match situation against Pakistan in the 2010 Asia Cup. Bhajji smashed a six to seal the victory for India. He has scored 1237 runs in 236 innings and 128 ODI innings.

T20 International Match

In the shortest format, Bhajji was the lead man for India in their triumph in ICC World T20 in 2007. He has picked up 25 wickets from 28 T20 International matches and 27 innings. In 2006, Harbhajan Singh made his T20 International debut for India, and his last T20 International mac was against the United Arab Emirates in 2016.

Indian Premier League – IPL

Bhajji played the Indian PrePremiereague since its inaugural season of 2008. His debut franchise was the Mumbai Indians, and Bhajji helped the MI Franchise win the CLT20 – Champions League T20 in 2011. Harbhajan Singh’s debut match was against RCB – Royal Challenge Bangalore at Wankhede. He even played for the CSK – Chennai Super Kings, and he was part of their third title win in 2018.

Bhajji even represented the KKR – Kolkata Knight Riders franchise in the IPL 2021, and the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League will be his last. Overall, Harbhajan Singh has picked up 150 wickets in this cash-rich league tournament. Singh has played 163 matches and 160 innings in the IPL. His best figures were five wickets for 18 runs. He played his last game of the IPL against the same side against whom he played his first match, Royal Challengers Bangalore – RCB.

Harbhajan Singh also had a stellar career in all three forms of cricket and IPL. In the International cricket arena, Bhajji has picked up 711 wickets for India in the Test matches, ODI matches, and T20 International matches. Harbhajan Singh is King and a joyous person off-field. He had quite a few banters on the field. But he quickly made friends with them. 

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