Known as the most formidable sides in 2000, Australia was a nightmare for any side when they faced them. The tussle between the Aussies and the teams from the subcontinent has always been a treat to watch, especially when it comes to India. However, there are a number of cricketers who used to make the mighty Aussies have a taste of their own medicine of aggression and one of them was Harbhajan Singh. The off-spinner was one of the few players who the Aussies used to fear, as was said by his former colleague from the Indian cricket team, Irfan Pathan as he was speaking on a live Instagram session hosted by Suresh Raina a few days back.
While speaking on the impact of the off-spinner from Punjab over the mighty Aussies, Irfan said, “Bhajju paa was one of the legends of the game, name me a better offspinner than him in world cricket, communication should’ve been better with him too. He’s a legend, played 100 test matches.”
He also added, “He’s (Harbhajan) a fighter, won us matches in Australia. Australians always used to say stay away from Harbhajan Singh,” Irfan went on as he joked, “They used to hold their ears upon hearing Harbhajan Singh’s name.”
Singh, who has had a celebrated career for the Men in Blue in every format of the game so far, had a huge impact on the visiting Australian team during the historic 2001 Australia's tour of India. His brilliant bowling helped him scalp a total of 32 wickets on an average of 17.03 including a hat-trick as he led the onslaught against the mighty Australians, helping the Men in Blue to make a historic comeback and the three-test match series by 2-1 under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly.
Speaking about his impact on one of the greatest batsmen of the game, Ricky Ponting, Harbhajan Singh boasted of his achievements against the former World Cup-winning Australian captain in a recent Instagram live session with Rohit Sharma. He said, “I think Ricky Ponting used to get out just by looking at my face. I didn’t even need to bowl at him. When he came to play for Mumbai Indians, I thought he would improve after playing me in the nets. But even there I got him out 5-6 times.”
Meanwhile, Irfan recollected the memories from the controversial spat between Harbhajan and former Aussie all-rounder Andrew Symonds during India's 2007-08 tour in Australia as he spoke about how the Australian media followed the off-spinner off the pitch as well. “Harbhajan used to tell me that I’m not Harbhajan Singh, I feel like Michael Jackson. In the 2008 series media used to follow him everywhere. From ground to hotel to the mall. He wasn’t even spared in the toilets of the mall.”