Veteran Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh who is currently out of the national team expressed his excitement at the prospect of being back in the field for the upcoming Ranji Trophy clash against Bengal. Sharing a picture of himself bowling in the nets, Harbhajan wrote, “Looking forward to being on field tomorrow for @PunjabRanji vs @CabCricket at [email protected] waheguru Himmat Bakshi #Backonfield #thatawesomefeeling #Excited #commited #Mission”
Looking forward to be on field tomorrow for @PunjabRanji vs @CabCricket at Amritsar..@BCCIdomestic waheguru Himmat Bakshi 🙏 #Backonfield #thatawesomefeeling #Excited #commited👊 #Mission🇮🇳🏏3️⃣ pic.twitter.com/KwAy8iPpE4
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) November 16, 2017
The off-spinner last played competitive cricket in the Indian Premier League for the Mumbai Indians earlier in the year. The off-spinner last appeared for Punjab way back in February 2016, and it would indeed be an exciting moment for Harbhajan to be back on the field. He might not be the same old Harbhajan during his peak but he showed in the IPL that he is still capable of contributing.
One of India’s finest spinners, Harbhajan last donned the national colours in 2016 during a T20I Asia Cup match against United Arab Emirates (UAE). His last ODI came against South Africa at the end of 2015, and he was lucky to have been left out since then despite some impressive performances in the series.
Along with Anil Kumble, the duo tormented many star-studded batting line-ups during their heydays. In the absence of any top quality spinner, it was Harbhajan who spun a web around the Australian batsmen during the 2001 series and helped India register a historic 2-1 series victory. It was a magnificent piece of bowling by Harbhajan in both Kolkata and the Chennai Tests which helped the home team win the series after suffering a crushing defeat in the opening Test in Mumbai.
He became the 1st Indian bowler to bag a Test hat-trick during the Kolkata Test where he bagged the wickets of Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne in 3 successive deliveries. India went on to concede a follow-on after a disastrous batting performance in the 1st innings. However, magical innings of 281 by VVS Laxman in the 2nd innings helped India make a dramatic comeback and register an emphatic victory after following on.