Mumbai Indians v Rajasthan Royals, CLT20 final, Delhi

The best I've bowled in three months - Harbhajan

ESPNcricinfo staff

October 6, 2013

Comments: 48 | Text size: A | A

Harbhajan Singh took three wickets in an over, Mumbai Indians v Rajasthan Royals, Final, Champions League 2013, Delhi, October 6, 2013
Harbhajan Singh: "I was travelling to the US but I didn't practice much before this" © BCCI

Mumbai Indians offspinner Harbhajan Singh, whose figures of 4 for 32 won him the Man-of-the-Match award and helped Mumbai claim their second Champions League title, said the over in which he took three wickets was the best spell he had bowled in recent months.

Harbhajan came into the tournament with little practice, having not played a competitive match since the IPL. He was not included in any of India A's recent squads. In a high-scoring final against Rajasthan Royals in Delhi, Harbhajan came on to bowl his final over with Royals requiring 48 off the last four overs with seven wickets in hand. Harbhajan struck with the first ball, removing the set Ajinkya Rahane for 65, caught at deep midwicket. Three balls later, with the pressure mounting on Royals for boundaries, Stuart Binny looked to slog a quicker one from Harbhajan and lost his leg stump.

After conceding a boundary the following ball to Kevon Cooper, Harbhajan hit back off the final ball, beating Cooper who looked to play across the line but failed to spot the straighter one. Cooper didn't to drag his back foot behind the line and Dinesh Karthik completed a sharp stumping. Three wickets went down for just four runs in the space of six balls and the match had turned firmly in Mumbai's favour.

"I'm happy with the way I finished, although I didn't practice at all," Harbhajan said at the post-match presentation. "I was travelling to the US but I didn't practice much before this but I'm really happy with the way I have finished this tournament. I think that over where I took three wickets was probably the best over I've bowled in the last three months."

Chasing 203, the Royals were in the hunt via a second-wicket stand of 109 between Sanju Samson and Rahane, who both scored 60s. Royals captain Rahul Dravid too felt that Harbhajan's spell had turned the match.

"We saw some really great batting and we saw some good skills with the ball as well, from the spinners and it was a close game right till the end," Dravid said. "I thought the couple of overs when Harbhajan Singh got four wickets for eight or nine runs probably turned the game on its head."

Incidentally, Harbhajan had starred in Mumbai's previous title win in 2011 as well, his 3 for 20 winning him the Man-of-the-Match award against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai.

"This is probably the second time and I am getting the Man of the Match in the final," he said. "Hopefully few more. I'm looking forward to the Duleep Trophy and the long season up ahead for India."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by jimbond on (October 8, 2013, 7:18 GMT)

@bbnn: Isn't doosra the ball that he doesn't dare to bowl when there are match referees or tough umpires around? I guess we can expect to continue to see Harbajan in IPL at least for the next couple of years. However, even in his state side- Punjab, he may not be an automatic choice because they have a strong bowling attack- Kaul, Gony, Ladha, Rahul Sharma, and also Yuvraj whenever he is free from National duties.

Posted by cricpanther on (October 8, 2013, 4:01 GMT)

nothing to do with bhajjee here, he is fortunate to have those wicket, started with bad shot by watson and also poorest shot by rahane, which was a fool toss from bhajje!! Rahane is not a smart cricketer and good not to have in indian team, as he lacks control and always living dangerously with his shots in the air. Rahane is the extensive version of Uthappa. Both are players of batting power play where field restrictions there!! Game of cricket knows much better by Yuvi, Raina, MSD, Zaheer Khan, Jadeja, Tambe, kohli, Gambhir, Pujara, Brad Hodge, and Sunil Narine!!

Posted by cricpanther on (October 8, 2013, 3:51 GMT)

Firstly, Congrats to MI. Also feeling proud of RR the way they fight!! Few questions for Rahane, is he there to build his 50 or wanted to win?? Rahane played well but certainly lacks of cricketing sense, when to accelerate or shift the gear when things and platform already been set up till 10 overs by him and Samsun. I mean he was late to start fire 2 over,and gave wicket at imp stage, what a waste of all efforts, sanju is too young to blame. Seems players specially from Maharashtra are too much self centered and playing for themselves. Cricket is all about TEAM WORK and playing to WIN. Individual centuries, 50s, highest runs are of no meaning if you can not convert it to win for your team. Gavaskar, Rahane, Sachin are falls under that category. MSD is so right on winning for team is the only motto. Players like MSD, Yuvi, ZEK,RAINA, HODGE, selfless and true cricketer and sense, analyse and playing to win the matches and solve the whole purpose of cricket to WIN the matches!!

Posted by   on (October 7, 2013, 18:37 GMT)

serious mistake by the umpires...i think so..look at over nmbr 18.2 when yagnik was given out. on tv replay dharmasena ( leg umpire) showing wide signal for height. tucker also didnt gv out. bt after discussion they gve out n rajastan lost final hope. no run was given also....shocking...i think that should b not out and value 1 run....yagnik s an attacking batsmen n he could do confused...wwatch highlight on star sports or crickt u cn understnd that...real mistake from the umpires.... sanjus perfrmnce and 1.2 million dollars gt in vein...if my opinion is right. then its really a shame for dharmasena who was awarded th best umpire and the people in kerala n rajastan and those who watchd in gulf countries jst bcs a kerala boy s playing.....

Posted by bhushanB on (October 7, 2013, 18:10 GMT)

Trying to be sarcastic here.. .but

Since Bajji did not practice any before this match (the only chance for him to have a bowl), may be he was saying, THE ONLY TIME I BOWLED IN THREE MONTHS

Posted by bbnn on (October 7, 2013, 17:46 GMT)

Yes his main weapon the Dusara was working well yesterday

Posted by vigneshvinu on (October 7, 2013, 16:48 GMT)

RR failed to utilise Meneria, i still dont understand the logic behind yagnik selection.Meneria was in such good form with bat and ball.

Posted by Amar_bw on (October 7, 2013, 16:13 GMT)

Harbhajan took the most crucial wicket of Shane Watson which helped him to take 3 more wickets in his next over as the pressure was mounting on the Royals. So, I agree Bhajji's spell was crucial. Of course Ozha bowled well too, but he wasn't lucky enough to take that many wickets.

Posted by arju412341 on (October 7, 2013, 15:59 GMT)

Rahane cannot even run betwen the wickts quickly..poor RR

Posted by Nitish1305 on (October 7, 2013, 15:52 GMT)

Loved to see you among the wickets bhajji, but even you must be feeling the truth, RR lost because of Hodge's absence and not by any means of your performance. You got wickets, but the sendoff given by you to the players undermines the aura of having played 99 tests on your part. It was your night, so congrats , but this is not the best if we ever want to see you back in the indian colours

Posted by ThyrSaadam on (October 7, 2013, 15:50 GMT)

Harbhajan was luck to have had Kumble to bowl with at the other end, any other spinner would have done the same. Barring the "break-out" series vs the Oz he has had nothing in his favor especially when India wanted wickets. He is good at run containing, but that is hardly that is what's required in test matches. He is really down in the pecking order, unless Ganguly becomes selector who for some reason thinks he is still good...

Posted by   on (October 7, 2013, 15:37 GMT)

bhajji missing spin, so he is out of team. now keep trying to spin & bounce.

Posted by   on (October 7, 2013, 15:13 GMT)

no bhajji..its the best you bowled since 2001...!...but never mind....loved to see your balls turn..

Posted by   on (October 7, 2013, 15:04 GMT)

too much blabber, shut it down bhajji

Posted by   on (October 7, 2013, 14:55 GMT)

By Harbhajan's standard it might be a great over...but otherwise he just got lucky picking up wickets with full tosses at the boundary. Tambe on the other hand is a sheer talent.

Posted by bhushanB on (October 7, 2013, 14:55 GMT)

RR were 100 in 9 overs, blazing at 11 RPO. Ojha gave just 5 in the 10th and got Samson out and gave only 3 in the 12th. For me those two overs are the true turning points..... Funny how statistics deceive us.

Posted by   on (October 7, 2013, 14:40 GMT)

Bhaaji, sometimes its better to let your bowling do the talking.. selectors will hear that better..

Posted by bhushanB on (October 7, 2013, 14:25 GMT)

By the time Bajji bowled the so-called great over, Royals already ran out of fire power, and were just meandering over the high run-rate they managed in the first 10. They never looked on target once Samson got out, only the commentators were trying to build some tension, but it was very evident with watson out-of-form and barely connecting ball to bat, it was all over.

Posted by   on (October 7, 2013, 14:22 GMT)

The wickets Bhajji got are not really a bowlers wicket. I really admire Pravin Tambe for shorter format of the game. Nobody could hit a six in the Champions Trophy. But everybody is vulnerable. Bhajji lost his mojo when he lost that movement in the air. I don't see that any more , Warne even now can wobble the ball in the air before it pitches. Its all talent... Bhajji wake up dude forget about Champoins Trophy think of playing for India.

Posted by bhushanB on (October 7, 2013, 14:20 GMT)

Sorry, but I think Ojha bowled far better, during the time when Samson and Rahane were blazing away. He slowed things down, when they were scoring at 11 per over and then got Samson out.

It was very clear, once Samson was out and Rahane tired around 11th over or so, Royals slowed down. With no Hodge to come later and no other slogger, In the very 11 th over, it was very evident at least for me that Royals are going to fall short of the target.

Posted by kingkarthik on (October 7, 2013, 13:59 GMT)

Honestly? Seriously? Your best over in three months? Guess when you played your 100th test match you bowled better overs. Perhaps that is why you requested the Indian selector to drop you after that match, so that you can say you bowled extraordinarily superbly on your last match. Bhajji, lets be honest. That over had less to do with you and more to do with RR losing the plot. Your statement is equivalent to Sachin saying after his 100th 100 against Bangladesh that it was his toughest innings. As for all the people who are dishing Ashwin, sorry for you all. He is the best off spinner India have right now. He is the Gramae Swann of India. He won't frighten the opposition, but will be right there giving his best, be it bat or ball. Bhajji is probably habouring hopes of returning to the Indian setup like Yuvi. Good luck for a day dream mate.

Posted by IndCricFan2013 on (October 7, 2013, 13:54 GMT)

Cricinfo, I thought IPL rules were amended so that the owners do not sit inside the park and they do not come in the ground for celebrations. Why was MI team owner is continue to sit close to the boundary lines and also jump in with the team celebrations? Does not the rule apply to MI owners? Did not remember saying any other owners do the same. #Just asking #concerned about the cleanup of IPL.

Posted by usernames on (October 7, 2013, 13:43 GMT)

Oh man, an over in which he bowled rank full tosses and got smacked everywhere was his best?

Posted by   on (October 7, 2013, 13:38 GMT)

@ Ajmer Singh Sohanpal on (October 7, 2013, 4:34 GMT) You are wrong. BOTH what he has done and what he has not done are irrelevant.

The selectors, are thankfully looking towards the future. Young Talents to be nurtured. (They are just being polite with the past greats; both batsmen & bowlers. Just waiting for the graceful retirements of the greats,instead of being uncouth in pushing them out).

Posted by   on (October 7, 2013, 13:33 GMT)

Bhajji. You had not bowled a decent spell for years. Even the the remarkable 3-wicket over, is partially, the result of pressure created by the huge MI score, and Ajinkya ,Staurt, & Cooper trying to narrow down the RRR. Yes, you bowled alright; but nothing magical to dream of playing for INDIA (Ranji & Duleep are OK. Even IPL), in the coming busy season.

Incidentally, Ashwin also is fast losing his magic. There is no mystery about him, any more. Many batsmen are comfortably hitting him out of the park. There is excessive experimentation. And some of his experiments look silly. The silliest is that artificial pause before delivery; which only gives more time for the batsman to think through. With his sluggush running, especially while chasing balls to the boundary, watch out Ashwin. Watch out. Even Dhoni, may lose interest in you.

While Bhajji HAD gone down, and Ashwin IS going down, many are coming up. Some, tried ad tested in the past & some brand new ones. Watch out!

Posted by sensible-indian-fan on (October 7, 2013, 13:28 GMT)

By the way, I posted NOT to put down Bhajji but to clarify certain points.

He for sure outperformed in both IPL and CLT20 now.

Posted by linguboy on (October 7, 2013, 13:26 GMT)

@DibblyDobbler2: yes Harbhajan ran through a powerful Aussie line up. But that WAS in 2001. this is 2013. There is no use if you dwell in the past. And are you rating bowlers based on some meaningless CLT20???? Don't forget that ha had 202 runs on the board to defend in 20 overs. Honestly, do you think Harbhajan will trouble batsman in test cricket with the trajectory that he is bowling currently??? NO will be the answer. And regarding Ashwin he already has 96(approx) test wickets in just 20 tests or so. He is learning with each series unlike Harbhajan who gives himself accolades. How can you so sure that Ashwin will never rip through a world class batting lineup??? Ashwin's mates keeps him in the team, really???? are you so naive???? Name one spinner who will replace Ashwin in the current Indian lineup. It's clear that without Kumble, Harbhajan is next to nothing. sorry to say this but his days as Indian Cricketer are over. cricinfo pls publish atleast this....

Posted by sensible-indian-fan on (October 7, 2013, 13:19 GMT)

@DibblyDobbler2 - Csk won 2010 bcos of 2 players - Bollinger and Ashwin. CSK always had a great batting but the emergence of these bowlers made them win 2010 IPL. Later Ashwin was the highest wicket taker in Champions League 2010. And he made CSK win in the 2011 IPL final.

I agree after that, Ashwin hasn't done anything great in IPL or CLT20. As ironic as it may seem, though Ashwin shot to fame due to T20's, that's his weakest format.

He is far better than Bhajji in Tests and ODIs.

Remember Champions Trophy final?

3 overs. 6 runs. 2 crucial wickets. In form Trott and Joe Root. And then final over.

Posted by   on (October 7, 2013, 12:58 GMT)

Oh Bhajji, you said this was your best over in last 3 Months!!!! I would say it was your best over in your career. As other posts say there are thousand s in India like you True. Your first over your typical over for a long time It was lucky for you this time so do not dream about being in the national team

Posted by DibblyDobbler2 on (October 7, 2013, 12:48 GMT)

sensible-indian-fan and Vijay\VK - pray tell us which game did Ashwin win for the CSK in the champions league? Bhaji consistently ripped through a world-class Australian side ...something Ashwin will never do in his lifetime ....Ashwin's mate keeps him in the team ...he's there for his bowling but I haven't seen him frighten ANY opposition with his bowling yet ....his mystery has gone ...he is the Indian Mendis ...

Posted by ashes267 on (October 7, 2013, 12:30 GMT)

@ ReverseSweepIndia well said brother .. This guy , yuvi ,zaheer raina gambhir sehwag , all have lost their charisma ... good to c all sitting out of the test team ..n except raina others dnt hv a chance to return to d team ... bhajji correction please , its not three months but may be three years or may be thirteen years ... sometimes power currupts n fame goes inside d head if you dont know how to handle it ... same case happened with yuvi bhajji

Posted by   on (October 7, 2013, 12:12 GMT)

He must perhaps thank his 'rival' Ashwin who caused injury to Hodge, indirectly though. (How silly of Hodge to try that hard to prevent Ashwin, of all people, from effecting an unlikely win! But then Australians are known for that kind of stuff. Perhaps he must learn from some, more respected, 'cleverer' players.)

Posted by   on (October 7, 2013, 12:12 GMT)

@sandy bangalore: No-one cares about "bad taste". It's results that are important. Gentleman's ethics do not exist in modern sport. Play the game hard or don't play at all.

Posted by   on (October 7, 2013, 11:41 GMT)

its was great that mumbai indians have won both ipl and clt20. woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow

Posted by sensible-indian-fan on (October 7, 2013, 8:43 GMT)

@ Ambi_rocks - Ashwin has better stats than him in Tests and ODI's. In international T20's, he has better stats. So there goes your flawed logic. Plus Narine says hi. Bhajji isn't even 50% as good as Narine in ODIs or T20's. Only spinner who can be compared to Narine in limited overs is Ajmal. Even he's not better than him.

Posted by ReverseSweepIndia on (October 7, 2013, 8:22 GMT)

one question Bhajji, Who stopped you from practicing when you knew that you are going to play CLT20 as your team had already qualified. And if you were traveling to US, why? Vacations? Whats this attitude towards the game then? Well, good for you for getting MoM. And if you do not change the trajectory of your bowling, you may never ever be able to bowl in Test matches. If you do not know what I am talking about see your own videos of pre 2007 and of any match after that.

Posted by on (October 7, 2013, 7:59 GMT)

If this is truly the best he can, then selectors are right in ignoring him for national duties. his arrogance and lack of acceptance of his error do not allow him to learn. This particular over was a lucky exception. Even unknown, unrated bowlers get a dream over here or there in the T20. That is nothing to boast of.

Posted by   on (October 7, 2013, 4:34 GMT)

people should not look at what he has not done but rather look at what he has done for Indian cricket,accordingly bhajee has given his best in all matches especially this one,hats of to him.he is the best spinner India has.

Posted by   on (October 7, 2013, 3:28 GMT)

but his first over was the worst in recent months..hw confidently a young boy called sanju samson dispatched him for a straight was his sheer luck that samson was dismissed just a ball before his second spell....get lost my dear bhaajji..there are thousand better spinners in india than u...

Posted by sandy_bangalore on (October 7, 2013, 3:27 GMT)

Harbhajans send off to Watson and especially, to Stuart Binny(who is just a journeyman Indian pro), was absolutely in bad taste. And we all thought that his time away from Indian team would make him a more humble man, respectful of the opponents, despite their stature. A few might commend this so-called aggression, but other than the delivery to Cooper, the rest were obtained when the batsmen tried slogging and gave away their wickets. All this shows why he has the least sympathy out of the quartet of Zak,sehwag and Gambhir, all who are out of the Indian team.

Posted by ProdigyA on (October 7, 2013, 3:15 GMT)

VijayVK - If he could not make it to the current Indian XI does not mean he is less of a legend. He served India well when he was in prime. He has earned every right to speak his mind

Posted by   on (October 7, 2013, 3:15 GMT)

Gotta say thanks to Rahane for not doing the simple task of dispatching the full toss, otherwise it would've been your worst. That first ball was as bad as it gets so people and Singh should just keep it real.

Posted by Akash_23 on (October 7, 2013, 3:01 GMT)

Not in three months,I believe this was the best over he has bowled after the maiden that he bowled against the West indies in the world cup!

Posted by   on (October 7, 2013, 2:36 GMT)

@VijayVK : i second you mate..... he hardly performs these days... and here comes one game once in a blue moon performance... he talks big... he should not be thinking of coming to team india again.....

Posted by   on (October 7, 2013, 1:29 GMT)

No, he is not. This is not just a club game. It is a very competitive & pressure game. With his feisty chatecter & big match temperament, he will certainly come back.

Posted by   on (October 7, 2013, 1:26 GMT)

I am happy for Harbhajan. He has served India well & with his feisty charecter will do so again. Best of luck champ.

Posted by   on (October 6, 2013, 23:28 GMT)

Vijay VK, Please give the guy some respect, As you know he is 10 highest wicket taker in test cricket, yes he had bad patch, IPL he was better than other Indian spinners and still in Cl he showed he is better than Ashwin. Ashwin has been decoded by batsman already, means dead in cricket.

Posted by VijayVK on (October 6, 2013, 20:36 GMT)

Hmm..isn't he talking too much..he just bowled 4 overs and he had 202 runs to defend. He could not find regular place even in India A games since 2011 First thing Harbhajan needs to understand and agree that he needs to work very very hard to get into INDIAN team..there is no point in blabbering like this after some club game...

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