Dubai: Harbhajan Singh, India’s fiercest and most potent off-spinner, announced his retirement from all forms of cricket yesterday. He signed off by saying “all good things come to end and today as I bid adieu to the game that has given me everything in life, I would like to thank everyone who made this 23 year old journey beautiful and memorable”
Harbhajan Singh first made his mark in 2001 series against the all-conquering Steven Waugh’s team under Saurav Ganguly to pick 32 wickets where no other bowler took more than three wickets to mark a remarkable comeback win to beat the Aussies.
He became the first Indian to bag a hat-trick to dismiss Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne. Even though that series was more known for VVS Laxman’s 281 after India had to follow-on in Kolkata. They rallied from behind to win the Test where Harbhajan picked 15 wickets. India later won the series after their win by two wickets in Chennai.
Harbhajan Singh was also part of India’s 2007 Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa and then in the 2011 50-over World Cup in India. He played very important roles in the both the World Cups for India. He went on to play 103 Tests picking 417 wickets.
He also played 236 ODIs accounting for 269 wickets with a miserly economy of just 4.31.
He was always under the shadow of another great Indian spinner Anil Kumble but always gave his hundred per cent and was one of the fiercest fighter on the field which paved wave for many India wins in all the formats.
India might have Ravichandran Ashwin as an off-spinner but as Sourav Ganguly his mentor said, it will be difficult to replace Harbhajan’s competitiveness on the field by any player.
- Cricket enthusiast Anis Sajan is the Vice Chairman of Danube Group