March 25-28, 1998
An early start
Harbhajan gets his first Test cap in Bangalore
as a 17-year-old against Mark Taylor's Australia. It's a quiet beginning for him, taking two wickets in the dead rubber, which India lose.
February 27-March 22, 2001
A fairytale comeback
After more than a year out of the team, he makes a stunning return against a rampant Australian team, snaring 32 wickets in three Tests in one of the most riveting series. He becomes the first Indian to take a Test hat-trick on his way to 13 wickets in Kolkata
before bettering that with 15 in the decider in Chennai
that hands India the series.
October 9-12, 2002
Spinning out woeful Windies
He takes out seven West Indian batsmen in the second innings of the first Test in Mumbai
to steer India to their first-ever innings victory over the men from the Caribbean. In a throwback to the 90s when Indian spinners were near-unplayable at home, he and Anil Kumble share 15 wickets to finish the game within four days.
December 20, 2003
After a run of stale performances, he opts for surgery
to correct the ligament rupture on his right-hand middle finger, which had troubled him for nearly a year. He is ruled out of competitive cricket for more than five months.
November 3-5, 2004
On a pitch that turned viciously from the start, India pull off a thrilling 13-run victory over Australia, defending 106 in a dead rubber in Mumbai
. Harbhajan is one of the heroes in a match that barely lasted 200 overs, bagging 5 for 29 in the second innings as Australia crumbled to 93 all out.
November 28-December 2, 2004
Eden Gardens love affair continues
Led by a pair of stubborn Jacques Kallis innings, South Africa put up some stiff resistance in Kolkata
, but Harbhajan winkles out seven second-innings wickets for 87 on a wearing track to set up an ultimately easy series-winning victory
March 20, 2005
He is reported for a suspect action
while delivering the doosra
and it is only five months later, after detailed analysis of his action by a biomechanist at the University of Western Australia, that he is cleared
December 18-22, 2005
The classic Indian spin pair
Long-time captain Sourav Ganguly is excluded and Rahul Dravid out with illness but it is just like old times when Harbhajan combines superbly with Anil Kumble again to deliver India a thumping victory over Sri Lanka in Ahmedabad
. The pair accounts for 17 of the Sri Lankan wickets to fall, with Harbhajan's seven in the first innings being the standout performance
January 4, 2008
The Sydney controversy
Initially gets a three-Test ban
after match referee Mike Procter finds him guilty of making a racist comment to Andrew Symonds during the Sydney Test
. On appeal, Justice John Hansen clears
Harbhajan of the racism charge, and instead charges him with abuse and insult not amounting to racism - to which Harbhajan pleads guilty and is fined 50% of his match fees
April 25, 2008
After an IPL match between Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians in Mohali
, he gets involved in an altercation
with Sreesanth. He is banned
for the rest of the IPL season and for five ODIs
, after video evidence showed he slapped Sreesanth without any provocation.
July 31-August 3, 2008
Puts a season of controversy behind with a ten-wicket match haul in Galle
, helping India draw level in a Test series in which they are confounded by the guile of the spin duo of Ajantha Mendis and Muttiah Muralitharan
March 18-21, 2009
Turning it on overseas
Picks up six second-innings wickets in Hamilton
to guide India to a 1-0 lead in the series against New Zealand. The performance answers one of the persistent criticisms that has dogged him for much of his career - of not being able to run through opposition outside the subcontinent
September 14, 2009
Denting Sri Lanka at home
A pumped-up Harbhajan hands India the Compaq Cup by wheedling out five wickets in the final at the R Premadasa Stadium
, striking at crucial junctures to puncture Sri Lanka's chase
February 14-18, 2010
Ecstatic at Eden
Harbhajan is exceptional again at his favourite venue
, taking five wickets in a marathon 48.3 second-innings overs to lead a Zaheer Khan-less attack to a heart-stopping, No. 1 rank-retaining victory over South Africa with nine mandatory deliveries to go.
January 2-6, 2011
Cape Town Superman
Against a strong South African line-up, Harbhajan takes the first four and last three wickets to finish with 7 for 120
, his best innings figures in an overseas Test.
July 7, 2011
Welcome to Club 400
Harbhajan dismissed Carlton Baugh in the third Test
against West Indies in Dominica to become only the 11th bowler, and the third Indian, to take 400 Test wickets.
Laid low in England
After two poor Tests in England, in which he took two wickets at 143.50, Harbhajan misses the last two Tests and the ODI series due to a strain in his abdomen
Nov 26, 2011
Dropped for Australia
With R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha performing superbly in the home series against West Indies, there is no place for Harbhajan
in the Test squad for the tour to Australia.