VVS Laxman scored 281 – the then highest score by an Indian batsman – in the second innings after India were asked to follow on. Rahul Dravid in that same innings scored 180. Harbhajan Singh picked up 13 wickets – seven in the first including the first hat-trick by an Indian Test cricket and six in the second innings. It is herculean task to name one hero of India’s historic win over Australia in the second Test match at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata in 2001. And it was not the only occasion when Laxman, Dravid and Harbhajan played pivotal roles in India’s Test wins.
Lauding the off-spinner for his contribution to Indian cricket, Laxman on Saturday said Harbhajan channelised potential frustration into unbridled aggression.
“Another person could easily have buckled under the string of personal and professional setbacks that marked the early part of his career. Channelising potential frustration into unbridled aggression, Harbhajan Singh held his own at the highest level for a decade and a half,” Laxman said on Twitter.
The 39-year-old veteran off-spinner, who last represented India in the Asia Cup in 2016, has so far played 103 Tests and 236 ODIs for India in which he has scalped 417 and 269 wickets respectively. Besides, he has also played 28 T20Is in which he has picked 25 wickets.
Harbhajan, who plays for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, said he is ready to make a comeback to the Indian side in the shortest format. “I’m ready,” Singh told ESPNcricinfo in an interview. “If I can bowl well in IPL, which is a very difficult tournament for bowlers because the grounds are smaller, and all the top players in world cricket play in the IPL.”