Sydney, Jan 14, 2021-
Australians often felt that playing against Harbhajan Singh was like playing against themselves because of the way the Indian spinner approached the game, according to former captain Steve Waugh.
“He played in the same vein, the same method and with the same spirit as we did and that’s probably why we found him a bit prickly it was like playing against ourselves,” Waugh said in a video interview on cricket.com.au.
“He played cricket the Aussie way. He was in your face, a bit of talk, aggressive, positive and he backed himself,” Waugh added.
Waugh admitted that Harbhajan was the reason India beat the Australian team led by him in the famous 2000/01 Test series. Australia were on a 16-match winning streak in Tests and ended up losing the series 2-1. It also famously included the second Test in Kolkata in which India became only the third team in history to have won a Test match despite being forced to follow-on. Harbhajan had become the first Indian bowler to take a hat-trick in Test cricket in that match.
“He won the series for India in 2001. 32 wickets in three Tests. We just couldn’t counteract his bounce. He got this amazing bounce off the length. Every spell he bowled against, he dominated us,” said Waugh.
“[He had an] Incredible strike rate, bowled a lot of overs and was consistent. Hayden probably took him on and did well, but the rest of us really couldn’t find a way to get on top of him. Without him, we would have won the series. A very influential figure, particularly against us,” he said. (Agency)