New Delhi: Team India’s star spinner Harbhajan Singh turns 40 today. Happy birthday to this ‘Turbator’ from every corner of the world. Bhajji has been a witness to the success of Team India since 1998. He was also a part of the T20 World Cup 2007 and ICC World Cup 2011 champion team. Despite such success, he is remembered for his performance in that one series, after which Harbhajan Singh became an overnight star and then never looked back.
In 2001, the Australian team visited India, where they had to play a 3-Test series. Prior to this tour, the Kangaroo team had won 15 consecutive Test matches and was looking forward to winning the Test series on the Indian soil after 1969. Harbhajan was included in the team on the recommendation of captain Ganguly, as Anil Kumble did not play in the series. Harbhajan’s performance was never special before this series, but now it was going to be amazing.
Kangaroos won the first Test match played in Mumbai by 10 wickets in just 3 days, but Bhajji took 4 wickets in this match from India. In the second Test played at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, the ‘Turbator’ caused panic in the hearts of the Australian giants with the moving balls. He took a brilliant hat-trick in this match, and he became the first Indian bowler to do so in Test history. Combining both innings, he took 13 wickets and played an important role in stopping the Australian team’s victory chariot.
Although India had equalized 1–1 in this series, the Chennai picture was still left. The third Test was played at Chepak Maidan. Here Bhajji created a scare with 7 wickets in the first innings and 8 wickets in the second innings. Due to his outstanding performance, he received the titles of ‘Man of the Match’ and ‘Man of the Series’. Harbhajan had taken 32 wickets in the entire series. India won 2–1 against strong kangaroos. Bhajji had become a star after this series, now everyone’s name was on his tongue.