Tim Paine – really?
Australia’s Ashes squad criticised, Mooney takes charge, the new and improved Bumrah, and more
Harbhajan Singh made his Test debut for India at age 18 against Australia in the Bangalore in 1998 but after rather ordinary returns, he was dropped in 1999. However, skipper Sourav Ganguly’s persistence and a shoulder surgery to Anil Kumble earned him a recall for the 2001 series against Australia and the rest is history. With 32 wickets in three Tests, the ‘Turbanator’ bamboozled the Aussies and handed India a famous come-from-behind series win. In the process, he became the first Indian to take a Test hat-trick and was also named the Indian Cricketer of the Year for 2001. After that, in partnership with Kumble and, at times, as the spin spearhead of the team, he has continued to torment the opposition for nearly a decade. His spectacular match haul of 8 wickets in the February 2010 Eden Gardens Test match against South Africa, where he managed to take the last wicket minutes minutes before the end of the game helped India retain the No. 1 status in Tests. He soon went on to become the 11th bowler in Test history to claim more than 400 wickets. In one-dayers, his willingness to equally contain and attack the opposition and score quick runs lower down the order earned him a good reputation as he engineered quite a few famous wins. He was a part of India’s 2007 World T20 and 2011 World Cup-winning squads. A dwindling strike rate and the inability to even staunch the flow of runs and build pressure ushered him out of the Test squad in November 2011. With two Test centuries under his belt and having led Mumbai Indians to the Champions League title in 2011, he is eager to perform in first-class cricket and fight his way back into the national Test team.