Test Wicket Milestones for Harbhajan Singh
1st: Greg Blewett (Australia)
50th: Ricky Ponting (Australia)
100th: Wavell Hinds (West Indies)
150th: Nathan Astle (New Zealand)
200th: Charles Coventry (Zimbabwe)
250th: Ricky Ponting (Australia)
300th: Ricky Ponting (Australia)
350th: JP Duminy (South Africa)
400th: Carlton Baugh (West Indies)
Singh is a specialist off- spin bowler, and has the record of taking second-highest number of Test wickets behind Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan. This is a prestigious feat for a spinner. Harbhajan Singh made his international debut, both in Test and One Day International (ODI) in early 1998. In 2001, in the wake of leg spinner Anil Kumble's injury, Harbhajan got a look in and was picked up as a main spinner of the side by the then Indian captain Saurav Ganguly for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. In that particular series against Australia, Harbhajan rampaged into Australian batsmen. He became the leading spinner of the side, taking 32 wickets, and also become the first Indian bowler to take a hat trick in Test cricket.
Personal Life of Harbhajan Singh
Singh was born to a family of middle class people and follower of Sikh traditions. He happens to be the only son of Sardar Sardev Singh, and has five sisters. He was about to take up family business as his professional when his father, literally forced him to take cricket seriously.
Harbhajan's first coach was Charanjit Singh Bhullar, who actually converted him into spin bowler. Singh started his career as a batsman then shifted to bowling. He was selected for the Punjab Ranji team and later into the Indian team. Following his tremendous performance in the 2001 series against Australia he was awarded cash prize of rupees five lakhs, a plot of land and a higher post in the police force by the Government of Punjab.
He is nick named The Turbanator by international media, but back home is known as Bhajji.
He was conferred the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian honour, in 2009.
Cricketing Career of Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan at the age of 15, broke into the Punjab Under-16 squad for 1995-96 squad and took 7/46 and 5/138 on debut against Haryana, setting up a nine-wicket win. He scored 56 in his next match against Delhi and then took 11/79 in his third match against Himachal Pradesh, orchestrating an innings win. He ended with 32 wickets at 15.15 and 96 runs at 48.00 in four matches. Following his great run, he was awarded with a place in the North Zone team.
In the 1997 seasons he made his Ranji Trophy debut where he took 3/35 in an innings win. His exceptional performance at the Ranji level saw him win a place in the Duleep Trophy competition.
Following a series of convincing knocks at the domestic levels, Harbhajan was called into the Indian Team. He made his Test debut against Australian at Bengaluru. He scored 4 not out duck, and recorded the modest match figures of 2/136 as Australia won the match by eight wickets. He later made his ODI debut against New Zealand at Sharjah, where he took 1/32 from ten overs as India narrowly won by 15 runs.
The main turning point in the career of Harbhajan Singh came after the Australian series in 2001. It proved a huge blow to the then mighty Australian team, as Singh captured 32 wickets in three tests, including first hat-trick by an Indian, while none of his team mates managed more than three. Through his entire span the Australian Team has been responsible for bringing out the best out of him. He has been singularly responsible for Ricky Ponting's low scores on Indian soil - he dismissed him five times under 12 in the 2001 series - and some his punchiest batting performances has come against them too.
He has been involved in lots of controversies throughout his career, and has been reprimanded by Board of Control for Cricket in India. But when he channels his natural combativeness in the right direction, he can be a fiercely competitive and dangerous opponent. He remains, after the retirement of Anil Kumble, India's lead spinner in the all three forms of the game.
Cricket Statistics for Harbhajan Singh
Batting and Fielding Averages