From the IPL in the first season where he became involved in the Srisanth gate to the IPL in the third season Harbhajan Singh has indeed evolved and matured as a player and has understood the fact that the aggression in his persona should come from his performance and it automatically would get transformed into a swagger, a la Vivian Richards. Bhajji had been showing this changed attitude in the third season of IPL for quite some time, but he came into his elements in full flow in tonight’s match between Deccan Chargers and his team Mumbai Indians.
When Sachin Tendulkar was out, there were apprehensions that the Mumbai Indians would not be able to set up a big total. But Harbhajan Singh had different ideas. He made a swash bucking 49 in just 18 balls and pulled his team from the position of self doubt of being in a driver’s seat, to firmly positioning his team into the drivers’ seat. But for one run, it could have been one of the fastest half-centuries in this IPL, but has Bhajji ever bothered about records. He is a really entertaining cricketer who can become nemesis of any bowler in the world when he is on song.
It is not that Bhajji only contributed his might with the bat, but proved that he still is a mean customer with the ball as well, when he got Adam Gilchrist out on first ball, his captain taking a brilliant catch in his wrong hand. Incidentally, it was after a really long time that Sachin Tendulkar showed his might as the fielder as well, and it was the foxy ability of Bhajji with the ball, more so the new ball, that he could draw Gillie to play and offer a catch to Sachin.
It indeed is a long journey, a transformation so to say, that Bhajji has brought about in his persona, when one compares it to the aggression in the form of verbal fuselage that this turbanetter had. Now it is his wizardry, either through the bat or the ball that does the talking. No wonder, he is one of the best bowlers for Mumbai Indians during the current season.
The manner in which Bhajji is playing in the IPL in the third season, he could indeed turn out to be the player to watch out for in the ICC T20 World Cup. After all, he would be the mainstay of the Indian bowling during the tournament, as India normally plays four bowlers, and therefore the responsibility of spin department would rest on his experienced shoulders.
By: Suman Rai