Harbhajan Singh's 400 Test wickets July 7, 2011

Feisty Harbhajan joins elite club

There have arguably been better spinners than Harbhajan Singh in Test history but on Thursday he became the 11th bowler to take 400 wickets. And that's no mean achievement
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In his 96th Test, off his 26,961st delivery, Harbhajan Singh became the 11th man in Test history, and the fourth spinner, to claim 400 wickets. The relief-drenched celebration came out with a pumped fist and a roar. It would have been perhaps even more fitting had it come through a shout for an lbw or a catch as Harbhajan would then have performed his signature backpedal-and-appeal routine.

The mode of celebration was understandable as he was made to wait for the landmark. He needed seven wickets at the start of the series and in the first two Tests, on pitches that suited the seamers, he took five wickets at an average of 35.60. The wait ended today. With Ishant Sharma threatening to run through the tail, Harbhajan removed Darren Sammy with the typical bat-and-pad dismissal he is known for. The ball dipped and bounced as it turned in and Sammy edged his defensive poke to the short-leg fielder. In his next over, he got one to turn in from just outside off and cramped Carlton Baugh for room. Baugh went for the cut, almost stumbled out to the leg side and lost his stumps.

Cameras flashed in the Indian dressing room. Out in the middle, Harbhajan was enveloped by warm hugs from his team-mates. Slowly he extricated himself, walked towards the top of his run-up, placed his right hand on his chest and looked up to the skies.

It's been a common sight through his 13-year career. Often he gives the feeling he is fighting the world. Often you get the feeling the world is fighting against him. It's been a career with heady peaks and puzzling troughs.

Rarely has any other bowler with 400 Test wickets received so much criticism. It's as if his critics expect greatness from him and feel disappointed that he has let them down.

On his bad days his line drifts to leg and middle, the pace is too quick and his attacking instincts evaporate. The critics have a field day announcing the end and then suddenly he shuts them up with a match-winning spell. On his good days he can be a handful. The ball will drift, dip, and bite and batsmen will succumb, unable to contend with the extra bounce and turn. It's as if there are two different bowlers. Other top spinners rarely gave this illusion of split personality. Harbhajan does.

He is a good bowler. Some believe he can be better than good. Some believe he is not as good as he is purported to be. The truth must lie somewhere in the middle. He has confounded his critics through his career. It's often been said that he needs spin-friendly tracks to be effective. However, in his previous two outings away from home, in New Zealand in 2009 and in South Africa in 2010, he has excelled. He was perhaps at his best away from home during that tour of New Zealand. Deploying over spin, side spin, and top spin, he was at the top of his art. The drift he got was mesmerising. A couple of months after that tour, Daniel Vettori named Harbhajan as the bowler whom he admired the most in international cricket.

Later, in the Cape Town Test, a wicketless first innings that had the critics hollering was followed by 7 for 120 in the second. Through his career he has been a different bowler once he's got early wickets. In recent times, he hasn't used the doosra much and has preferred to use the topspinner. It's been a puzzling development.

Today, however, was a day to bask in personal glory. The list of top wicket-taking spinners reads: Muttiah Muralitharan, Shane Warne, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh. There might have been better spinners than Harbhajan in Test history but only three others have picked up 400 wickets. And it's no mean achievement. It will be interesting to see how history views him. Will he judged by what he has done or will he be judged by what some think he could have done - what more he could have done?

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • CricketLifer on July 10, 2011, 17:15 GMT

    What players like Harbhajan (Ganguly was another one) has taught India is to be fight and be aggressive. Typical Indian cricketer is rather placid at best or a push over at worst. He may not be a consistent wicket taker but hey, he is no chucker either! Hope he continues to play and inspire other young bowlers.

  • on July 10, 2011, 13:12 GMT

    For everyone who says Bhajji is mediocre, he doesn't deserve the accolades because of the poor average, etc., etc....Bhajji has played a huge role in getting India to the NUMBER ONE ranking in tests and helping them stay there, a feat Murali could never acheive for his team. Bhajji has won/drawn matches with the bat (has two centuries to his name), another feat Murali never achieved. I will take TEAM RESULTS over individual achievement from the Indian players any day.

    weldone NP_NY...U SAID IT...baji u r no.1 to india.....keep going...i belive that he will break murali's record.......goodluckkk...balle balleee....

  • g.narsimha on July 10, 2011, 9:32 GMT

    relax guys it uderstood that anything positive to india pak supportors always tries degrade indains.indians never insultes imran khan miandad,akram & other greats frm pak.there may be crore indians admires these greats.but it really pains when i see a lot of negetivity hetrad towards our past &present super stars including sachin i never seen any body from that side saying gud words for kapil the great who inspired not only indian cricketers fans but all of the sub continent by winning world cup in 1983.u can have ur own oppinoin on a particular player even after taking 400wikets if BHAJJI is termed as useless,overrated bowler by our bros frm pak & sl ,wat about won & murali who could not won asingle match on indian soil on their own & had nightmares whenever encountered indians if 1 has to be great they shud have performed against the beast players of spinners on spinning trackes in india warna himself admitted of having nightmares after sachin give him a gud thrasing.

  • Bilal_Choudry on July 10, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    @DaGameChanger Its a fact that Harbajan's record against batsman from subcontinent is poor. If you dont believe me check for yourself. Even Bedi thinks Sehwag is a better off spinner than Harbajan. Again you dont have to believe me search for it yourself. Soon he would give way to the new lad

  • on July 10, 2011, 2:18 GMT

    As I read the omens, Bhajji could well turn out to be our match winner in Dominica today - sort of history calling for a turbanator footprint in a new West Indian Test venue!

  • NRI- on July 10, 2011, 1:35 GMT

    Harbhajan is far superior to Prasanna and Venkat, just look at the stat S Rajesh has put together. Plus he is a far better batsman than Bedi or Pras and a much better fielder than the fatty Bedi or the even fatter Pras.s that

  • NP_NY on July 9, 2011, 22:35 GMT

    For everyone who says Bhajji is mediocre, he doesn't deserve the accolades because of the poor average, etc., etc....Bhajji has played a huge role in getting India to the NUMBER ONE ranking in tests and helping them stay there, a feat Murali could never acheive for his team. Bhajji has won/drawn matches with the bat (has two centuries to his name), another feat Murali never achieved. I will take TEAM RESULTS over individual achievement from the Indian players any day.

  • johnathonjosephs on July 9, 2011, 21:30 GMT

    "There have arguably been better spin bowlers than Harbhajan?" Are you joking? The guy took 93 matches to get 400 wickets, while murali had just 40 matches more than him and got double that amount. He's been in the game for 13 years and only just managed to get that achievement now. In history, Harbhajan will only be known for that Eden Gardens match against Australia and probably 5 other matches. Nowhere near great... Kumble, Murali, Warne, Qadir, even Bishan Bedi was better

  • bhaloniaz on July 9, 2011, 20:05 GMT

    Harbhajan's talent is undeniable. But his aggressive attitude is actually detrimental to the team. Most players at this level has self-confidence. They donot need Harbhajan to get into a fight to up their games. I am tired of people condoning/praising bad behavior. Its a polarization. That makes people biased. So people cannot decide. Say Amit Misra starts to bowl better than Harbhajan. Because indians are emotionally connected to Harbhajan, they would not let Amit take Bhaji's place. Its detrimental to india.

  • bhaloniaz on July 9, 2011, 19:59 GMT

    Getting 400 wickets in 96 tests is great. Its even hard for a spinner. Harbhajan may not be Warne or Murali, but he will be on the second tier with Bedi, Prasanna. India's problem is that all the other test playing nations have good spinners. So india no longer have an advantage. India's fast bowlers are getting better and batsmen were good before. Now batsmen are less vulnerable against fast bowling. So india in effect has become a much more balanced team. Off course, Gavasker/Amarnath played really well in an era when cricket was more bowler friendly. So their contribution in indian cricket is underrated. Now Sachin has 50+ average. So does anyone who is almost every batsman in indian team.

  • CricketLifer on July 10, 2011, 17:15 GMT

    What players like Harbhajan (Ganguly was another one) has taught India is to be fight and be aggressive. Typical Indian cricketer is rather placid at best or a push over at worst. He may not be a consistent wicket taker but hey, he is no chucker either! Hope he continues to play and inspire other young bowlers.

  • on July 10, 2011, 13:12 GMT

    For everyone who says Bhajji is mediocre, he doesn't deserve the accolades because of the poor average, etc., etc....Bhajji has played a huge role in getting India to the NUMBER ONE ranking in tests and helping them stay there, a feat Murali could never acheive for his team. Bhajji has won/drawn matches with the bat (has two centuries to his name), another feat Murali never achieved. I will take TEAM RESULTS over individual achievement from the Indian players any day.

    weldone NP_NY...U SAID IT...baji u r no.1 to india.....keep going...i belive that he will break murali's record.......goodluckkk...balle balleee....

  • g.narsimha on July 10, 2011, 9:32 GMT

    relax guys it uderstood that anything positive to india pak supportors always tries degrade indains.indians never insultes imran khan miandad,akram & other greats frm pak.there may be crore indians admires these greats.but it really pains when i see a lot of negetivity hetrad towards our past &present super stars including sachin i never seen any body from that side saying gud words for kapil the great who inspired not only indian cricketers fans but all of the sub continent by winning world cup in 1983.u can have ur own oppinoin on a particular player even after taking 400wikets if BHAJJI is termed as useless,overrated bowler by our bros frm pak & sl ,wat about won & murali who could not won asingle match on indian soil on their own & had nightmares whenever encountered indians if 1 has to be great they shud have performed against the beast players of spinners on spinning trackes in india warna himself admitted of having nightmares after sachin give him a gud thrasing.

  • Bilal_Choudry on July 10, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    @DaGameChanger Its a fact that Harbajan's record against batsman from subcontinent is poor. If you dont believe me check for yourself. Even Bedi thinks Sehwag is a better off spinner than Harbajan. Again you dont have to believe me search for it yourself. Soon he would give way to the new lad

  • on July 10, 2011, 2:18 GMT

    As I read the omens, Bhajji could well turn out to be our match winner in Dominica today - sort of history calling for a turbanator footprint in a new West Indian Test venue!

  • NRI- on July 10, 2011, 1:35 GMT

    Harbhajan is far superior to Prasanna and Venkat, just look at the stat S Rajesh has put together. Plus he is a far better batsman than Bedi or Pras and a much better fielder than the fatty Bedi or the even fatter Pras.s that

  • NP_NY on July 9, 2011, 22:35 GMT

    For everyone who says Bhajji is mediocre, he doesn't deserve the accolades because of the poor average, etc., etc....Bhajji has played a huge role in getting India to the NUMBER ONE ranking in tests and helping them stay there, a feat Murali could never acheive for his team. Bhajji has won/drawn matches with the bat (has two centuries to his name), another feat Murali never achieved. I will take TEAM RESULTS over individual achievement from the Indian players any day.

  • johnathonjosephs on July 9, 2011, 21:30 GMT

    "There have arguably been better spin bowlers than Harbhajan?" Are you joking? The guy took 93 matches to get 400 wickets, while murali had just 40 matches more than him and got double that amount. He's been in the game for 13 years and only just managed to get that achievement now. In history, Harbhajan will only be known for that Eden Gardens match against Australia and probably 5 other matches. Nowhere near great... Kumble, Murali, Warne, Qadir, even Bishan Bedi was better

  • bhaloniaz on July 9, 2011, 20:05 GMT

    Harbhajan's talent is undeniable. But his aggressive attitude is actually detrimental to the team. Most players at this level has self-confidence. They donot need Harbhajan to get into a fight to up their games. I am tired of people condoning/praising bad behavior. Its a polarization. That makes people biased. So people cannot decide. Say Amit Misra starts to bowl better than Harbhajan. Because indians are emotionally connected to Harbhajan, they would not let Amit take Bhaji's place. Its detrimental to india.

  • bhaloniaz on July 9, 2011, 19:59 GMT

    Getting 400 wickets in 96 tests is great. Its even hard for a spinner. Harbhajan may not be Warne or Murali, but he will be on the second tier with Bedi, Prasanna. India's problem is that all the other test playing nations have good spinners. So india no longer have an advantage. India's fast bowlers are getting better and batsmen were good before. Now batsmen are less vulnerable against fast bowling. So india in effect has become a much more balanced team. Off course, Gavasker/Amarnath played really well in an era when cricket was more bowler friendly. So their contribution in indian cricket is underrated. Now Sachin has 50+ average. So does anyone who is almost every batsman in indian team.

  • Praxis on July 9, 2011, 19:56 GMT

    I think he never did justice to his own talent and the blessing of almost never being dropped even after being mediocre so many times.Its only natural for him to claim 400 wickets after playing 96 matches. I like his passion for the game. He's only 31, so let's hope he proves us wrong after 5/6 years & takes loads of wickets.

  • davesingh on July 9, 2011, 18:04 GMT

    There is an important angle to be considered. What is the relative status of your team in the phase that you are bowling/batting. That is one aspect that makes Gavaskar's achievements so much bigger than say Ponting or Sachin. He was almost always batting with his back against the wall and the team in a struggling situation against better opposition. Considering this, McGraw and Shane Warne, and to some extent Murli have bowled with their team being stronger than the opposition more often than not. Also, if your team wins more often, then the bowlers have taken closer to 20 wickets than when you lose or draw. So you have a bigger pool of wickets to share from. An interesting stat to look at would be to pull out bowling stats of all these 11 in just the matches that the respective teams won and then do a comparison. I am sure that that would be interesting to look at.

  • kodut on July 9, 2011, 17:15 GMT

    he will be remembered more for his hattrick in calcutta than this or future achievements .

  • DaGameChanger on July 9, 2011, 15:18 GMT

    @Bilal..if you just want to consider avg against certain sides then bring on any spin bowler from Murali to Shane Warne..trust me no body has good avg against India. Shahid Afridi has avg 55+ against India. Does it make him bad bowler? sometimes it just more than stats..on the other side, you can argue India is such good batting side in Test for last 4 years that he has always runs to play against and have attacking fielders. As Bhajji mentioned, all great bowlers have some flat line before they surge back in the career. Hopefully he is right.

  • on July 9, 2011, 12:42 GMT

    evn bowlers like..Rajesh chouhan..were better than harbajan..he has all the built fingers spin n evrythng to b a great bowler..but that he nvr will become.bcz he is a mediocre bowler who is supposed to play in ranji trophy nad vanish. bcz of unknwn reasons he played for india and still playing..evn if i wud hav played 96 tests for india ,i would hav got 500+ wickets. i am still waiting n hopng for an indain who turns the ball on his will and diguises other batsmen evn in fast tracks.

  • on July 9, 2011, 12:25 GMT

    harbhajan is the most overrated bowler that cricket has ever seen..As others wrote he got his most of his 400 wickets by using bat pads in indian pitches where there will be holes by 2nd day of test. He is still playing indian team because of two reasons 1. india is not able to find a genuine orthodox offspinner/leg spinner/finger spinner ,infact india never had one after edaplii prasanna,chandrashekar and bishan singh bedi era except one and only kumble.. The second reason i cant mention here bcz of sensitive reasons.

  • on July 9, 2011, 11:27 GMT

    As Michael Holding said, 300+ wickets is just an eventuality in this day and age. With the amount of matches played b/w sides 400 wickets doesn't really say much about a bowlers ability other than the fact that he has played a lot of games. Look at Harbajjans average, in either form of the game, and you might see what I see: An overused, average finger spin bowler who has toiled a lot out in the middle.

  • Mcgrath-Dravid-Flintoff on July 9, 2011, 10:33 GMT

    @ Sameer_cricfan- you really think so? hell end up with an average of over 33

  • Balumekka on July 9, 2011, 9:02 GMT

    @ Bollo, Murali bowled in Australia, with the huge pressure laid on him by Aussie Umpires, their spectators and even the prime-minister, which no bowler in this world has experienced. Before analyzing the stats and all that, just use your common sense!

  • Bilal_Choudry on July 9, 2011, 8:22 GMT

    having conceded hundreds of runs he is yet to take a test wicket in pakistan ... similarly he averages close to 50 in SL and BD ... thats not average .. .thats below average

  • on July 9, 2011, 8:18 GMT

    He should be remembered as quite a good spinner that played a lot of matches and bowled a lot of overs to take his wickets, going for a lot more runs per wicket then warne and murali.

  • Bilal_Choudry on July 9, 2011, 8:16 GMT

    Harbajan is an average bowler .. this can be seen from his records against better spin playing sides .. he averages above 50 against pakistan and almost 40 against SL .. with talented newcomers Harbajans days in the team are numbered

  • Cashan on July 9, 2011, 5:05 GMT

    @MrMMJ: Though Wasim played more test than him, he bowled 5000 deliveries less than him as he is a pace bowler and usually bowls about 20~25 overs per day whereas a spinner can bowl 40 overs easily in a day. Now if you have dragged Wasim in this, you must compare the average (23 vs 31) and strike rate (54 vs 67) and you ll realize that these 2 are completely from 2 different planets (Wasim from the planet of greats and Harbajan from the planet of Ordinaries).

    Just to add more Harbajan has less than 25 average only against WI and Zim, the 2 weakest batting line-ups on last 10 years...

  • Cashan on July 9, 2011, 4:53 GMT

    The bowlers who have taken 400 wickets in test, 2 Indian bowlers (Kumble and Harbajan) has the worst average by a big distance and worst strike rate also. This goes to prove that the reasons they got so many wickets is that they play a lot more test than other teams (like Pakistan or New Zealand) and do not have enough good bowlers in team so they have to keep on bowling whole day

  • on July 9, 2011, 4:28 GMT

    well done Bhaji always enjoyed watching you bat or bowl or sledge.

  • Bollo on July 9, 2011, 3:30 GMT

    Having said that, both of them are proven matchwinners, handy with the bat (not unlike Warne there I suppose), and great team men. They`ve both played significant roles in India`s rise to the top, and a rejuvenated Bhajji could go a long way to keeping them there for longer than some people are suggesting.

  • Bollo on July 9, 2011, 0:15 GMT

    People often mention the averages of Warne/Murali in India. How about the averages of some of these guys in Aus? - Harbhajan (73), Murali (75), Kumble (38). Whichever way you want to spin it, the total away record of Bhajji - ave 38 (or even Kumble, ave 35) suggests they have only been poor to middling outside outside their own country.

  • Peter_Walters on July 8, 2011, 22:55 GMT

    To all critics of Bhajji, let me ask you a simple question- do you have the guts to face the Aussies. Look at the wickets of Ponting and Symonds that he took in Australia (when the whole media was after him,) as well as the fifties he scored. I do not think the Indian team has many such tough cookies. So let us give him the credit that is due. As far as his dip in bowling form, I would question the highly paid coach. If I were Harbhajan, I would myself ask the coach, and make him work. My feeling is that too much one-day cricket is the main reason for Bhajji losing the loop and line.

  • hellraiser9 on July 8, 2011, 22:21 GMT

    Whether any one accepts or not. Indian team knows his importance. He is one cricketer who is a fighter let it be with bat or ball. Now a days he is effective with bat too. When kumble was around he was very supportive from the other end. After Kumble retired too Bhajji was doing fairly well and Indian team has been victorious and he has played a very important part in those victories either with bat or ball. As a bowler getting to 400 wickets is not a joke. It shows endurance, fighting spirit and ability to take that many wickets is very commendable. Indian Captains know how valuable this guy is and oppositions know how irritating he is to face. 400 wickets in 96 test matches is damn good when you see that murali , warne and other spinners struggled in india. He has minimum 5 to 6 years left in him. And Indian team has lot of test matches coming up in next few years in new FTP so I am sure he will end up with another 250 odd wickets or more. So that would be terrific. Bhajji is great!

  • on July 8, 2011, 21:52 GMT

    Cometh the hour, cometh the man!! Goes true for Bhajji!! :)

  • on July 8, 2011, 19:37 GMT

    @JimDavis.... and that proves what? his cricketing skills?

  • Gocool87 on July 8, 2011, 19:05 GMT

    @krishna kumar. I agree with you. He's very aggressive and nowadays he's a decent batsman

  • devils13 on July 8, 2011, 18:40 GMT

    Never consider him as a great but probably the last spinner to join the 400 club as the game is already leaned towards batsman friendly tracks..no one wants to play cricket on spinning and bouncy tracks as ts not a crowd puller like explosive power hitting by ruthless batsman showing no signs of any technique

  • ansram on July 8, 2011, 17:23 GMT

    Harbhajan is a good bowler, not great like Murali or Kumble. He is one of the best spinners in the world right now. 400 wickets is no ordinary acheivement. His batting is so improved that he is a real asset to the team inspite of his dip in bowling form. And Bhajji is a gritty cricketer, will never say die and fight to the finish.

  • JimDavis on July 8, 2011, 17:06 GMT

    Tried to take dirty shoes through New Zealand customs and was caught - enough said!

  • abhi_cricinfo on July 8, 2011, 16:42 GMT

    Those who are yelling about 30+ avg thing. I want to tell those guys that Warne & Muralitharan used to beg wickets on Indian Pitches , where Bhajji play most of matches.Warne 34 wkts @ 43.11 , Murali 40 wkts @ 45.45 & Bhajji 258 wkts @ 28.43. No wonder that most of Bhajji haters are Aussie and Lankans . Bhajji is frontline spinner of WORLD NO 1 test team and current world champions . Congrats Bhajji for 400 mark.

  • muski on July 8, 2011, 16:16 GMT

    From being labelled a chucker to getting 400 wickets, Bhajji has come a long way. However of late has lost his wicket taking prowess. It seems like he has lost the art of thinking. Considering the fact that he will play for another 5 years (about 50 tests), he will take about 600 test wickets before he hangs his boots. The good thing is the last one year is that the competition is on his heels and he is feeling the heat to perform.Let us sincerely hope that he gets back his rhythm in the next 2 series in Eng and Australia. That will re-define how his career shapes up in the years to come

  • on July 8, 2011, 15:58 GMT

    Harbhajan to overtake murali? He he..must be kidding. Let him bowl from both ends for 5 years & he might get close to 600!

  • on July 8, 2011, 15:48 GMT

    dear sirs, apart from anil kumble,harbhajan has been the most influential spinner-and that too playing in all forms of the game-tests-1 day cricket-t20-let us put the deeds of bedi , chandra, pras and venkat in perspective-tests won on the dustbowls of india-and even there spinners like ashley mallet. lance gibbs and derek underwood have performed better-outside india-1-0 victory in1971 against a tottering west indies-a 1-0 lucky victory against england-again lucky-look at the scoreboard-bedi and company could win a series against a packer depleted australia-the rejuvenated india has a lot of heroes-starting with mansoor ali khan pataudi,sunil gavaskar,grvishwanath,vengsarkar,mohinder amarnath, kapil dev,sourav ganguli,sachin-the jewel in the crown,laxman,dravid,srinath,kumble,harbajan-and now dhoni-these wins are not an accident-these are the logical progression of a very good system which has placed india in the number 1 place-but i do hope,rohit, kohli and manish pandey are saved

  • on July 8, 2011, 15:36 GMT

    As somebody just mentioned,if strike rate is everything,Saqlain Mushtaq was even ''WORSE''...!!!You may criticise him for everything but the fact is he won't give you fellows a Damn...!!!Neither would the team management.The truth is that he has a big role in whatever India are today(No.1).The men responsible for making India a good side include Ganguly,Srinath,Kumble,Dravid,Laxman & Dhoni.Ofcourse he is the least great among them,but you look at the overall effect it had on the team.He had a contribution in making his team win against everyside in the world.Now,that is something that ''great'' Mushtaq,Vettori & even Murali could not.Murali didn't win Sri Lanka matches in India,Australia,Sa,England & West Indies...At the end of it all he is a very useful Cricketer.He may not be he best Bowler,but he is a good Cricketer,a good fighter & A very good Indian...

  • kanishkazico on July 8, 2011, 15:19 GMT

    he is a good bowler with a big heart, he can't be called great yet, he has to improve his fitness so that he can play for another 5 years atleast and get 200 more wickets atleast, he should work on his bowling more, he should remember India would take 3 wickets and 0 runs from him in each test innings anyday over 1 wicket and 30 runs

  • criczealot on July 8, 2011, 15:11 GMT

    bhajji is a complete entertainer. he had saved india when he joined india.he deserves 500 and on.THIS SERIES WEST INDIES IS GOING 2BE THRASHED BY HIM.

  • on July 8, 2011, 14:54 GMT

    All said and done Bhajji is a great fighter all these years. Let us congratulate him on his achievement rather than pinpointing his failures. We all sitting in the drawing room and just passing comments is not correct.

  • on July 8, 2011, 14:07 GMT

    a bowler of vettori's class and guile has 350 odd wickets frm 100 matches and as ordinary a bowler as harbhajan takes 400 frm 96 matches!!tht is cricket for u.its not abt statistics.its not about wickets.spin bowling is about turn, flight, loop, guile, changes in pace and trajectory.vettori has it all and its lovely to watch him bowl but he doesnt get many wickets.harbhajan has none of it and keeps throwing the ball flat at 95kmph into the batsman which is horrible to watch and yet he gets more wickets!!may be this injustice is the beauty of the game as that is what makes it very close to real life.

  • yasserrizwan on July 8, 2011, 13:56 GMT

    Harbhajan embodies mediocrity.With bowling average of 32, Indian team hung onto him just because there was no other better bowler in sight. Ashwin is way more efficient than Harbhajan. I am not a critic, nor a cynic yet if given chance to play 96 tests for India, i 'll end up with lot more wickets than 400 with better bowling average.

  • maddy20 on July 8, 2011, 13:51 GMT

    Besides, he is a very useful lower order batsman who saved or won matches for us batting. The man has 5 50's vs Aus!

  • maddy20 on July 8, 2011, 13:49 GMT

    @Stark62 When you have such a strong batting lineup which has 5 batsmen averaging 50+(Sehwag, Gambhir, Sachin, Dravid and Laxman(almost 50)) 32 is a pretty darn good average. He can only get better from here. Come on guys stop the criticism. He did it in 96 games, nearly the same as Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh).

  • on July 8, 2011, 13:29 GMT

    Those who raised their eyes after looking Bhajji's average and strike rate.. please check other two best spinners Murli and warne 's average in India. Murli: 45.45 and Warne: 43. And dont tell now Indians play spin better than others.. then check Murli's average in Aus, 75!!! please try to accept that Indian pitches are generally very flat.. and in that flat pitches our bowler (pace & spin) has performed well.. and also dont forget the era of guru greg (worst performance of bhajji) , where not only Bhajji, all the our premier bowlers suffered a lot.

  • Sameer_cricfan on July 8, 2011, 13:07 GMT

    @Mcgrath-Dravid-Fiintoff People commenting that if you bowl that many bowl you are bound to take 400 wicket made me fall off my laughing over it..... Why don't you try it? The matter of the fact is that no current player with 200+ wickets except Steyn who has the best SR in the history of the game have sub 30 average. Mark my word he will end his career with avg below 30.

  • on July 8, 2011, 13:01 GMT

    Average or great, when you think of a quintessential fighter in Indian cricket Harbhajan stands foremost. He has turned many a series from the brink. In a crisis he has the same qualities as VVS.

  • NP_NY on July 8, 2011, 12:56 GMT

    @Stark62: If averages are everything, I have a better bowling average than Harbhajan. But averages are just statistics. It doesn't tell you that Harbhajan was mostly used as a "containing" bowler when Kumble was taking wickets at the other end. It doesn't tell you that the bats are bigger and more powerful and the pitches are more batsman friendly now than ever before. If you want to look at statistics, why don't you tell me which frontline spinner today (other than Graeme Swann) has an under 30 average! I am sure you'll be one of the first to argue that the pitches in India are flat and that Indian batsmen are flat track bullies. Harbhajan bowled mostly on these pitches and still has an average of 31. I rest my case.

  • debashisgamma on July 8, 2011, 12:55 GMT

    I don't think Harbhajan should make it to the list of greats as yet,but he has definitely been a spirited contributor to the renaissance that Indian cricket has gone through over the last decade.As of right now,i think the turbanator of old is lost somewhere.For some unknown reason,it looks like he has lost a bit of the same fighting spirit that previously earned him a lot of respect from opponents worldwide.Currently he is barely half the bowler he once used to be.But still... ignore his competition at your own peril coz the warrior bhajji is,i would never count him out.Go well Harbs..

  • on July 8, 2011, 12:53 GMT

    How many times does a bowler crosses 400 mark. The guy has something in him. He deserves to be celebrated. Whether he is good enough for 500+, that will be determined by his effectivess and ability to innovate.

    Unfortunately, he is not getting enough breaks to think and innovate.

  • on July 8, 2011, 12:48 GMT

    Those who call Bhajji a mediocre/average bowler first look at the stats of all the spinners who played in his era and then comment. Kumble was dominant in most part of his career and bhajji shared wickets with him . Warne & Murali are lone spinners for thier team in most of the games and thats the reason why they got more wickets....

  • intcamd on July 8, 2011, 12:43 GMT

    He is an alright bowler. Is he the 2nd best ever spin bowler we produced? Hardly? In the panetheon of our spinners, he has to rank behind Bedi, Chandra, Prasanna, and may be Gupte, and Kumbled (needless to say). (Even someone like Siva could have been great, but was not, it is a different topic). But Bhajji played in this era, with 50 over and T20, which the great spin quartet did not. He also showed a hell of a fight; on that aspect, he has to rank at the very top. Any spinner with less heart and weaker spine would have crumbled after the assault from the Aussies, the constant flak he gets from the Aus+Eng axis and their media, and episodes such as monkeygate, but h stood his ground, and for that alone he needs to be applauded.

  • on July 8, 2011, 12:41 GMT

    400 wickets is something a finger spinner can feel gud about.

  • on July 8, 2011, 12:34 GMT

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/29264.html?class=1;template=results;type=allround;view=cumulative... I see many ppl criticising a lot about Bhajji. He deserves to be the best indian spinner and no other spinner can replace him as of now. See his progressive career averages match by match list from the above link. For every 10 tests he bagged not less than 40 wkts barring 1 ten match slot where he got only 35 wkts(after 2000-01 series against Aus). Days are gone when bowlers reigned supremacy and from 2000 its completely batsmen era in all forms of the game. Playing in this era and getting 400 wickets is something special and people criticise for his 30+ bowling average and 60+ strike rate. How many bowlers with 200+ test wickets have better rates than Bhajji except Murali,Warne and Kumble? Right now Swann is considered the best spinner and we cant assure he would maintain the same rate till end of his career. Surely Bhajji will get close to 700 wickets.

  • on July 8, 2011, 11:50 GMT

    @hellraiser : Murali's Ave is 22.72 not 32.61 my friend. http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/49636.html

  • on July 8, 2011, 11:47 GMT

    harbajhan will never be remembered as a legend. Take murali as a example he is always CONSISTENT. Take Warne Same with him. That's why they called as a legend. And the way Haribajan behave in the field will never suited for a legendary player, that kind of a behavior only suited for a thug. He think he is the best bowler in the world which is NOT!! Take murali, he got 800 test wickets (only took 133 matches) but he always down to earth.. Never scold to a batsman. He is always smiling.. Thats how a legend should be.. so no one will remember the name of harabajan when he retire and no one will need his service after that!

  • concerned_cricketer on July 8, 2011, 11:35 GMT

    If any cricket loving Indian were granted a wish from God to play in any one match, I think that would be the 2001 test in Eden Gardens vs Aus. Not only did Harbhajan play in it but he was one of the chief architects of that victory! Few Indian cricketers have shown as much fight as Harbhajan has over the years. Form will come and form will go but true class will never be forgotten. Thank you Bhajji for so many instances of making me proud of the country. Ayushman bhav.

  • CricFan78 on July 8, 2011, 11:19 GMT

    Love the comments here once again. People need to go and check how many finger spinners have really been successful in history of Test cricket. Comparing him with pace bowlers and wrist spinners (Murali was one too) is comparing apples and oranges.In this era of flatter pitches, excellents bats , T20 cricket etc. its hard to fault his average as an off spinner. Hes been an asset to Indian team and his last few series against Aus, SA confirms that he performs when it matters the most unlike some other spinners who take heaps against weak batting side but go missing in big series such as Ashes.

  • tajjuk on July 8, 2011, 11:11 GMT

    Never a great, good acheivement yes,but when you compare him to the other 10 with over 400 wickets he looks very much the odd one out. Average nearly 32 and a poor strike rate.

  • Stark62 on July 8, 2011, 10:55 GMT

    The only one with 30+ average in that list!

    Says a lot but what I don't understand is........

    How comes Ind hasn't replaced him yet?

    If he was playing for another country then, he would have been replaced a long time ago. I can only recall one good series for him and that was against the Aussies in Aus.

  • kingcobra85 on July 8, 2011, 10:54 GMT

    Harbhajan's last three five wicket Hals

    New Zealand Hamilton 18 Mar 2009 South Africa Kolkata 14 Feb 2010 South Africa Cape Town 2 Jan 2011

    5 five hals are like test centuries for batsmen so would you still keep a batsmen who is only scoring one century every year and also against mediocre sides.. no disrespect to either new zealand or south africa but lets face it they are hopeless against spin

  • manish053 on July 8, 2011, 10:33 GMT

    Great great ! job done by Bhajji. Every Indian can proud of him. He is basking in his glory which he deserves. He has right to celebrate this achievement and should be appreciated bu we can dream more with this guy. He is playing his 96th test but age tells this number will increase too much to get him taken over murli and that would be a landmark which will boost our pride which we have lost just after kapil's retierment who was the highest wicket taker in the test cricket.

  • on July 8, 2011, 10:24 GMT

    Looking at stats, he has an average of over 4 wickets per test. Compare this to any bowler who has taken more than 300 wickets and Harbhajan is 11th out of 24. His wickets test is better than Wasim Akram or Brett Lee or Curtley Ambrose. Cut the guy some slack

  • Mcgrath-Dravid-Flintoff on July 8, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    His Strike rate is very bad -67.5, and in this series its 71.1, if people bowl so many balls then its likely that he is going to get 400 wickets. he was good a few years ago, now he is just average!

  • on July 8, 2011, 10:04 GMT

    people who compare bhajji with past spin legends should remember batsmen today r more equipped & aggresive 2 play spin. gone r the days when euro-aus-nz-sa-wi would struggle on sub-continents pitches.

  • on July 8, 2011, 9:49 GMT

    congrats bhajji ! well done. whatever critics/his distractors say, getting 400 tst wickets is no mean achievement, that too for a bowler who had to play 2nd fiddle to another great anil kumble in his young prime days. Aggression is his usp both on & off d field & people should admire his on- ur- face attitude. common bhajji, loosers always criticise,so dont bother. u r d champ who gave aussies a dose of their own medicine.chak de phatte!

  • courierpost on July 8, 2011, 9:43 GMT

    @ Raghu Chennappa true Bhji is going very very fast only to sleep.

  • Farukafaj on July 8, 2011, 9:35 GMT

    he is disgust to 400 elite club , averaging 31.80 which doesn't suit others.. anyway congrats to him

  • on July 8, 2011, 9:30 GMT

    congrats bhajji but your time is over make way for mishra and Ashwin

  • on July 8, 2011, 9:19 GMT

    Bhajji is a great spinner for india along with Kumble I can say, Its not just u play 100 tests, u'll get 400 wickets.. it has been the caliber 2 play 4 India in almost 100 test matches and he'll play more in future.. He dint have better averages compared to other legendary spinners.. but before commenting on that jst look at those legendary averages in india both have more than 40, it simply suggests how difficult it is 2 bowl in indian conditions..u can say its problem with indian batsmen and they play well against spin so those worst avgs 4 them but those r legendary, they should bowl & get wickets on any kind of pitches or against any kind of batsmen, but its not the case wit them and murali has got more than 250 wickets against the kids like bangla, zimb and WI and 70-80% of his wickets came on home spinner frendly conditions.. that suggests the avgs of him.. Last but not least Bhajji is the leading spinner in world cricket at the moment and he'll definitely get 600 mark for sure..

  • arup_g on July 8, 2011, 9:17 GMT

    Firstly congrats! No matter what people say about Harbhajan he isn't the same bowler he was when he first started. He has turned into a defensive, and sometimes negative bowler. In ODI's it works - He can stifle runs from one side, and build the pressure, but how much of that can you do in a test game? If India are to play one spinner away from home, they need a match winning spinner who is capable of turning games around ala Warne, Murali, Kumble and even Swann to some extent. Also Bhajii has become too much of a mood bowler - if he wants to, he'll bowl a whole team out, but when he is off mood he can't even get his length right! He still remains India's number 1, but that shows how poor India's bench spinners are. He needs to be pushed by the likes of Mishra, Ojha, Ashwin and Chawla otherwise he has it too easy in the first team!

  • on July 8, 2011, 9:10 GMT

    Congratulations to Harbhajan Singh. Really one the best Off Spinners in the World. He deserves this wonderful record. A real fighter, great Indian who has the killing spirit. He is just 31 of age and still to go long way. Hope, he would definiately break the record of Muralitharan.

    Wish you all the best Harbhajan. Keep playing at your best.

  • hellraiser.. on July 8, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    @ Xolile dont u think same applies to kumble also :D

  • hellraiser.. on July 8, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    @ for harbhajan supporters... go and check the his bowling averages for last 12-15 months. it is around 39-40 [as cricinfo says] which cannot be a sign of a good spinner. It just shows the indulgence of politics.

  • on July 8, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    Oh give him a break. Bhajji's a fantastic bowlder. You can't expect everyone to be a Warne or a Murali. Murali was a freak. Warne was a born genius. These guys will NOT be matched by any current bowler, we need to come to terms with that and stop expecting Harbhajan to carry the mantle in that capacity. Spin bowling is as much about guile as it is about turn. Bhajji has both, and he will only get better as he matures as a person. Even Kumble only peaked in his last 4 or 5 years. I believe Harbhajan hasn't peaked as yet, and he's already one of the world's premier bowlers. That's a sign of greatness, so give him time. Agreed, the performance is below potential, but he has a LOT of cricket left in him. Just a matter of time.

  • hellraiser.. on July 8, 2011, 8:50 GMT

    bowling average [cricinfo record says: 47.18] of shane warne against itself tells that he was one of the worst spinner against champions of spin bowling :P so i cant understand how a spinner can be great if he suffers a great failure in his biggest mission ever unlike murali [cricinfo record: 32.61]. Now c the difference...

  • VENKATASAIPRAVEEN on July 8, 2011, 8:46 GMT

    Harbhajan is a great bowler. Every time the critics wrote him off, he fought back. But, the rate at which he is picking up wickets now is not a great sign. He has a great opportunity to break Kumble's record. Congrats to him for joining the elite club !!!!!!

  • johnd85 on July 8, 2011, 8:39 GMT

    harbajhan will never be remembered as a legend....... because all legends had the virtue of being CONSISTENT but as far as bhajji is concerned the only thing he is consistent is in being INCONSISTENT......

  • on July 8, 2011, 8:39 GMT

    IT'S TIME HE SHOULD BE REPLACED !!

  • Sulaimaan91 on July 8, 2011, 8:36 GMT

    Congratz Bhajji..........my spinner ranking would be Murali, Warne are in 1 category,Kumble, Saqlain next and then Bhajj. Anyone doubting Saqlain, check out his stats and for Swann, he has a long long way to go to prove himself.

  • on July 8, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    I want to add something ..if Murli had played so many matches against england in england as Warne did ...Murli would have cross 1000+ wickets easily....

  • on July 8, 2011, 8:21 GMT

    harbhajan bowling AVG is 31 ...tooo high. To be a legend and great it must be under 26....

  • on July 8, 2011, 8:19 GMT

    he has the worst avg. among the 400 club members

  • SUNILDASWANEY on July 8, 2011, 8:04 GMT

    HARBHAJAN WAS AN EXCELLENT BOWLER ;NO DOUBT ABOUT THAT!!! BUT NOW HE'S DEFINITELY STRUGGLING LIKE KAPIL DEV AT THE FAG END OF HIS CAREER!!HE SHOULD NOW DEFINITELY RETIRE FROM TEST CRICKET AT LEAST IF NOT ALL FORMS OF INTL CRICKET.HE'S CLEARLY STRUGGLING TO DOMINATE THE BATSMEN.IT HAS NOW REACHED A STAGE WHERE WE EXPECT HIM MORE TO SCORE RUNS RATHER THAN TAKE WKTS!! PRIME EXAMPLES ARE KAPIL DEV SANATH JAYASURIYA AGARKAR AND GANGULY

  • spiritwithin on July 8, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    many pakistanis were calling harbhajan as a mediocre bowler with SR of 67.4 but what about saqlain mustaq whose SR was 67.6 but still they call him the best offspinner lol,and many other fans r quick to point out the flat batting tracks in india when anybody praises indian batsman but then y the same flat track logic is not applied in bhajji's case...u cant have ur cake and eat it too..bhajji is not in the league of warne,murali but he's not bad either as all r calling him here,show me any spinner whose average is less than 30 except warne,murali (swann is still new to test arena so wont judge him now)..yes derek underwood averages 25 but his SR of 73 was bad..spinner r bound to bowl more deliveries compared to fast bowler and hence SR is more,even avearges r more,in the 400+ club if we just go by SR & average then even shane warne comes below atleast 5 bowler in that elite club even though warne is in the WISDEN top5 of all time...

  • Sanjeev_Talwani on July 8, 2011, 7:50 GMT

    Harbhajan Singh is one of the finest spin bowlers that India has ever produced. India has completely dominated over the West Indies in spite of not having five senior players - Tendulkar, Sehwag, Gambhir, Yuvraj and Zaheer - in their squad. Had the rain not played spoilsport in this test series, India would have clean swept the West Indies 3-0. I can't wait to watch a full-strength India thrash England and then Australia in their own backyard later this year.

  • CandidIndian on July 8, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    Congrats bhajji you are our hero ,400 is just a start its along way to go.I am enjoying the comments of Pakistanis who are boiling , the reason is Bhajji's six kicked them out of world cup and then recently he sent overrated Afridi and Umar Akmal back in recent world cup encounter ,so keep boiling lol John smith-much better than overrated bowlers of England , who are self declared greats with no achievements other than Ashes about which no one cares except the two teams who are playing that, BTW how many from England have taken 400, or won a world ,or ever beeen part of no 1 test side? LOL

  • TheNarrator on July 8, 2011, 7:32 GMT

    @Cricket.Buff - Murali would never be on my list of anything great.. for me the greatest spinner ever would be warne...

  • KAIRAVA on July 8, 2011, 7:31 GMT

    (CONT'D...) Aussie spin twins, Clarrie Grimmett & Bill O'Reilly, to me, were the best spinners to have played the game before the arrival of Warne & Murali. They bowled against top class batsmen of that era and picked of wickets quite regularly against them. They were legends who excelled even on flat pitches (ones we get to see more often in recent times). Speaking of the only the best spinning legends, Jim Laker of England from the 1950-60's is another spinner that comes to mind, followed by Bhagwath Chandrasekhar (from India's famed spin quartet) in 1970s. From 1990 onwards, the spinners I would like to rate according to their skillset levels are Warne, Muralitharan, Kumble, Saqlain Mushtaq, Graeme Swann, Stuart MacGill & then comes Harbhajan. So Bhajji comes only 10th best spinner on that list. Taking into consideration that 2 spinners make it into the playing XI of the all time best World XI, Bhajji would be in the 6th best World's playing XI team & that too if luck favours him.

  • KAIRAVA on July 8, 2011, 7:30 GMT

    @ Deepanjan Datta: Well said !! Spin bowling in test in test cricket has gradually evolved since the days of playing on uncovered pitches in between 1890-1910. Spinners of who proved deadly in those conditions Robert Peel, Johnny Briggs, Charlie Blythe (all averaged less than 18 runs per wkt) would have only been ordinary bowlers in the present era if not for friendly bowling conditions in their era. Naturally, batsman of that time struggled a lot due to unfavourable batting conditions, but those who succeeded include legends like Victor Trumper. After WWI, situations improved, pitches were covered, batting averages improved with the emergence of batsmen like Don Bradman, George Headley, Len Hutton, Wally Hammond, Jack Hobbs, Herbert Sutcliffe (all averaging 60+ with bat), each of who can walk into any playing XI of top teams these days. But spinners of that era who emerged to pose a strong challenge to these batting legends often tend to get ignored by today's generation. (CONT'D...)

  • AllwinJ on July 8, 2011, 7:27 GMT

    His best days are long gone. Its time he is replaced

  • BellCurve on July 8, 2011, 7:15 GMT

    There are four factors that determine a player's career statistics: his own ability, the ability of the opposition, the player's role in the team, and the pitch and overhead conditions. Harbajan is a very good player, but his career statistics are merely average because he often had to bowl long spells against excellent batsmen on very flat Indian tracks. His mediocre stats are the flipside of Sehwag's glory and Tendulkar's legacy. No-one in India would admit to this, because it undermines the brilliance of their batting heroes. It is not a message India wants to hear, but it is clear as daylight to the rest of us.

  • mittalanuj on July 8, 2011, 7:08 GMT

    My congratulation to Harbhajan for joining 400 wickets club..... But at the same time if see other names in that club like Marshall, Dennis lillee, Imran Khan, Richard Hadlee,Mcgrath,Kumble, Warne,Murlitharan and compare than I strongly think that he lacks that aura. His achievements are more exaggerated and he has always been got some undue opportunities to overcome his low phases. Overall for me Harbhajan will be bit overstated cricketer....

  • on July 8, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    I don't think there is any comparison between waseem and harbhajan. Wseem's average,strike rate are faar faar better than bhajji. Bhajji has taken less number of matches to complete 400 than wassem , but he has taken 2 times more delivery to complete this task......congarets bhajji

  • howizzat on July 8, 2011, 6:39 GMT

    Whatever be the history take it or whatever be the records speaking, the truth is Harbhajan Singh is a spent force since last 5 years. His wicket taking abillity has dwindled and has become once in ablue-moon affair. Holding to the spinner's spot he as cost the TeamIndia a good 5 years and thus indirectly search for a new spinner.

  • Cruzer on July 8, 2011, 6:34 GMT

    If only South Africa could produce more spinners, somebody from England will also achieve this feat... ;)

  • on July 8, 2011, 6:31 GMT

    Congtars ....go bhajji go... make history... you are a true Indian... dont think anything... go more aggressive now.. all the best to reach more milestomes...

  • Night-Watchman on July 8, 2011, 6:22 GMT

    Criticism against Bhaji's record overseas is unwarrented. He has taken 111 wickets in Eur-Africa, AuZealand and Windies put together in 30 matches @ little under 33 runs per over. If you remove Zimbabwe from that list, then 25 matches 92 wickets @ 33 rpo which is a shade under his career going rate of 100 wickets apprx every 25 tests. You guys are also obviously missing the fact that Bhaji was Kumble's supporting partner for almost half his career, Anil taking the place of the main strike bowler. Add to that more than 250 one day wickets in almost as many ODIs, Bhaji has been a critical part of India's success story. If there were equally capable bowlers like Zaheer, Anil and others to share his spoils, he is not to be blamed, that is just because India had a great team in the first decade of this new century. Going forward, how Bhaji performs in the next few years will also be critical on India holding its place at the top of the heap. My hats off to you Bhaji, Brave Heart!!!

  • on July 8, 2011, 6:06 GMT

    He is a match winner but not a Shane Warne or a Murali. They have better averages and strike rates and have won more matches for their team. Harbhajan has done well, but has a lot of ups and downs but if he wants to be a great bowler he has to be very consistant but he is not that bad. A difference between murali, warne and Harbhajan is that his better is a lot better with centuries to his name.

  • Anshul_CricketWins on July 8, 2011, 6:04 GMT

    People may talk whatever they want.. Harbhajan may or may not have achieved what he could have.. But one thing is for sure, he hung on there. He was always there in the top bucket of players to be chosen. He might have hit 'puzzling lows' but unlike many other great prospects.. kanerias.. carom strikers.. vettoris.. and scores of others.. he still somehow managed to achieve this landmark. And as per the requirements of current era of cricket, he is delivering for the team. And still if there's scope of improvement(likewise for all greats) then sky is the limit.. another 7-8 years.. who knows!! another 400 is not a big deal!

  • vijujack on July 8, 2011, 6:03 GMT

    An achievement it is, but at what cost? I'm sure on these wickets Ashwin would have taken more wickets. He kept his place only because there was no there off spinner in the horizon. Ramesh Powar was nipped in the bud, for reasons beyond comprehension and then it was no one else. Harbhajan is his own enemy, with his poor attitude and outbursts, instead of being thankful that was backed even with a suspect bowling action. He better be grateful to the board & Tendulkar for being allowed this extended run..

  • ravi_hari on July 8, 2011, 6:00 GMT

    Congrats Bhajji! By any standards it is no mean achievement. Only the fourth spinner in the world to do it and second already from India. It speaks about the endurance of the art and the hardwork Bhajji has put in. However, I think Bhajji has been a disappointment most of his career. His Home and away record speaks for that. It is only in the past couple of years and especially against Aussies that he has performed. Otherwise he performs only when he is cricitised for non-performance. Inspite of being an off spinner he failed to perform on helpful wickets. He is either too defensive or over aggressive. The way he celebrates after dismissing tailenders shows him in poor taste. In the recent series against South Africa, Sri Lanka and Windies he has not performed until critics got after him. He struggled to take wickets against the weakest batsmen. I think he has been an overrated and under performing bowler. Batting has to add not compensate. Bhajji you are picked to take wickets! Ravi

  • on July 8, 2011, 5:53 GMT

    KAIRAVA....shame on u......he will olways feature in india best bowlers.....

  • --.-- on July 8, 2011, 5:37 GMT

    World's greatest spinners :- Murali, Warne, Kumble and who would be next ? Either Bhajji or Swann

  • SouthPaw on July 8, 2011, 5:37 GMT

    Of the list of great bowlers who have taken 400 wickets or more, guess who has the worst average, economy rate and strike rate? - Harbhajan, no marks for guessing!

  • --.-- on July 8, 2011, 5:35 GMT

    Come on Harbhajan Come on, only 15 more wickets to break Wasim Akram's record of 414 wickets, He did that in 104 matches and you still have 8 more matches.

  • Vikramaditya100 on July 8, 2011, 5:33 GMT

    congrats bhajji................now carry on and finish both eng and oz...............

  • gitapat on July 8, 2011, 5:30 GMT

    Now that Harbhajan has completed 400 Test wickets it is time to drop him and pick up Ashwin who can bowl in all the 3 formats of the game and compliment Amit Mishra in Tests.And end Harbhajan's agony and that of every lover of Indian cricket.

  • --.-- on July 8, 2011, 5:27 GMT

    To my Pakistani Friends, Criticize Bhajji as much as you want; Apply all your Mathematics to give him the tag of "World's most pathetic bowler". But one thing you would never forget and that is when your favorite Amir (who is history now LOL) was hammered for SIX by Harbhajan in the last over, and Pakistan Cricket team was kicked out of the Asia Cup :) !! This is where Bhajji is different, His bat too does the talking and that too when it matters the most !!

  • AdithVenky on July 8, 2011, 5:25 GMT

    He is good bowler on bad wickets ( Indian wicket on 3/4/5 day). No doubt he is a fighter and wants to perform always. He is handy with bat and a bowler who can win matches on his day. Getting 400 wickets and playing for 14 years is an achievement. Congrats bahjji.... polish your skills and aim at 500 wickets...

  • on July 8, 2011, 5:25 GMT

    If Miandad by home-umpiring help can average 50, then Harbhajan also belongs to 400 wicket club.Miandad average away from was 45.

  • on July 8, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    @Mohammad S Anwar...in your dreams ..Rafiq is better than Bajji.... Mortaza is better than Zaheer...Tamim is better than Tendulkar....LOL @John Smith ....It happens mate ...u tend to get jealous as nobody from England has done it ever and will neither do it ever

  • Woodsheart on July 8, 2011, 5:19 GMT

    @NP_NY: You made good points. .Is there any spinner now achieving less than 30 avg ..hmm NO..Time has changed ..Batsmans aren't so agressive in tests as early in 1980-1990's and pitches are more suited to batsmans these days ..and indians mostly play in indian flat tracks.i wonder why ppl don't come up with these flat track bullies as always .And wen bhajji was playing remember there are TWO SPINNERS including him in the team ,KUMBLE AND BHAJJI..If any1 of them played solely either bhajji wud ve taken 700 by now, or kumble wud ve reached 900...very true,they WARNE and MURALI played lone spinner for their TEAM and they had chances bowling out batsmen more than KUMBLE and bhajii...And bhajji has contributed with his bat as well ,wen WARNE AND MURALI don't fall under that category ..HARBHJAN HAS DONE VERY WELL..I AGREE IF WARNE N MURALI PLAYING NOW THEY CUD VE DONE BETTER THAN BHAJJI A BIT ..BUT DEFINTELY THEIR AVG'S WONT BE THE SAME...BUT DEFINITELY THIS IS TYM 2 BRNG GUD SPINNERS 2 TEAM

  • Mr_Anonymous on July 8, 2011, 5:10 GMT

    Congratulations to Harbhajan. Great job on the milestone reached. I think when people criticize him, its because he has the potential to be a great bowler and its sad to see potential like that sometimes wasted. Based on the bowling average and strike rate Bhajji still does not compare as well with the bowlers ahead of him in the list. You have rightly pointed out the split personality issue. Its more true for him than the other bowlers. It was a pleasure to see Shane Warne and Murali bamboozle the batsmen on a regular basis (even though I was supporting an opposing team). Bhajji can do that too (the potential and skill is there) but there is something that is restricting him from achieving his full potential regularly. I know its hard to match his exploits against Australia in 2001 but if he could do that against one of the best teams of all times what exactly makes him so ordinary on many days? What wouldn't one give to see him perform similarly today to that 2001 series?

  • CricEshwar on July 8, 2011, 5:10 GMT

    As rightly said, he is a good bowler only if his confidence levels are high. If he doesn't take early wickets, all he will do is bowl to the legs of the batsmen. He should be taking more risks as there are a few contenders waiting to take his spot and as someone in cricinfo rightly said, he should be going for greatness not for his spot.

  • nickydude on July 8, 2011, 5:10 GMT

    Well, although congrats on ur efforts. I wud salute Harbhajan the batsman more than bowler, because, just count the matches he has saved or won, with those stunning lower order cameos since last couple of years. If you see scorecards clearly, the Harbhajan cameos has saved from sheer embarassment, starting from Zimbabwe-2001, Adelaide 2008, Bangalore - 2008, Ahmedabad-2010, Jamaica-2011, let me know if someone remembers any more. Thanks.

  • farhankhan82 on July 8, 2011, 5:08 GMT

    Friends,its a great article.What ever be the arguments,the "fact" is Bhajji was at the most Average to Above average bowler although taking 400 wickets in no mean achievement but stats alone cant be the yardstick to measure ability,his career was with ups and dows,he never got that fear Warne,Murali or Saqlain brought to the batsmen once the ball is in their hand.I am not undermining his achievements but for me he was a bowler capable of 1)Not capable of Running through batting line ups with glaring regularity except that 2001 series Vs Aus 2)Effective only on turning pitches same like Kumble. If any one arguing yet,then please look at Prasanna,Jim Laker,Murali and Saqlain and oflate Graeme swann, bhajji is good but that spark is missing which i would say can but the in the company of "great" bowlers,nevertheless he gave his heart out for the country so hats off to him.One more thing,had Saqlain not met with career destroying knee injury i wonder what his stats would have been by now

  • on July 8, 2011, 4:46 GMT

    great bhajji..............wish all the best future maches

  • on July 8, 2011, 4:39 GMT

    Harbhajan's list of achievements just getting longer ...........proud of him

  • Percy_Fender on July 8, 2011, 4:20 GMT

    I am sorry to be honest at this moment. Harbhajan has always been a average bowler, nothing exceptional.He probably thrived on the initial impetus caused by his great series against Australia in 2001 and possibly Saurav Ganguly's persistence with him even when he seemed to have lost the plot. His statistics are definitely impressive without a doubt.But that is all there is.When one talks of great off spinners from India and elsewhere, the names Prasanna,Ghulam Ahmed, Hugh Tayfield,Saqlain Mushtaq and Ashley Mallet come up.Not because they had better figures than Harbhajan but because of the sheer control, beauty and thought that went into their art of deception of batsmen who could hammer any spin bowling that was less than being exceptional. Why,even Shivlal Yadav and Bruce Yardley were no thumb twiddlers when given the ball.Harbhajan's will be remembered by history more as a street fighter who was on our side who could give back to the big bad men of elsewhere as good as he got.

  • on July 8, 2011, 4:17 GMT

    congrets Bhajji for getting much needed 400 wickets.You have been fantastic bowler throuhout your carrer but i think you lost your passion for the game in the last couple of years.Its really pity to see that a champion offie of your calibre is stuggling for wickets.You are still young and planty of cricket left in you,It is high time to think that what went wrong in your bowling and try to get those problems solve. Team India really needs you so is your supporters

  • kingcobra85 on July 8, 2011, 4:17 GMT

    @Udaya Prasanna Indian tracks can be a excise only for fast bowlers... spinners should have helpful conditions here...apart from that Harbhajan has been the only spinner in the side for sometime he has been bowling lot of overs and usually picks up the the tail much like what kumble did to boost his wickets tally.. gone are those days when we had attacking spinners who terrorized top order batsmen...we should be thankful for the quicks in the side because they are the ones that are winning us the games...

    Having said 400 is 400..kudos for the man to getting there but any current crop of spinners Ojha, Mishra or even Ashwin can get there in 100 tests given the opportunity... 4 wickets in a test match which means 40 to 50 overs is not a big deal

  • Fast_Track_Bully on July 8, 2011, 3:58 GMT

    He is not as good as earlier...that is a fact...but he is not that aged ...so he can be back in the best form and improve things...at the end of his career, he may be in the top3 positions...and remember, there wil not be much competitor for that...you must be fit enough to play such a long period...remember, now-a-days ,so called super-fast bowlers not able to play test cricket or not able to finish their 10 over quota in ODIs...great going Bhaji...all the best!

  • on July 8, 2011, 3:52 GMT

    Well, You may seem ordinary at times and you have compensated that with valuable and surprising runs through your batting. More than these two you have given a GREAT CHARACTER to TEAM by being arrogant to others. And this character helped team fight bravely in overseas especially Australia. And this combination is well recognized and utilized by Ganguly, Kumble and Dhoni as Captains. A Team sport requires talent + aggression as well.. Well Done Bhajji...

  • on July 8, 2011, 3:51 GMT

    FYI- For those who want progressive stats of Bhajji.... 100 in 25, 400 in 96..... 300 wkts in 71 matches at 4.2 wkts per match( remember he bowled in an era where the wickets are batsman friendly and many innings had scoring rate of more than 4 runs/over). In such case the average of a bowler rises automatically. So stats can never reflect the true quality of a bowler or a batsman. Ryan Ten Deoschate has the best batting average in ODI's now, can u rate him higher than a batsman like Sachin,Viru,Ponting,Yuvi,Kallis,Hussey???? Stats prove unlucky sometimes for a player and fail to reflect. Remeber Walsh and Ambrose who had less wickets per match than Bhajji who played in most seam friendly wickets of thier time??? Then why come u criticise Bhajji alone. Right now only Swann has better average than Bhajji in tests. 400 wkts in 96 matches might look normal but playing in 96 tests and 14 years for a country is not an easy thing.that itself proves the ablity of Bhajji...

  • AMD. on July 8, 2011, 3:48 GMT

    @ Santhosh Kudva He is bowling lot many overs than those poor legends in every match.Thats why he has that 4 wickets / match. But considering his Average & Strike rate,He is (just) an "Above average/Good" bowler only.

  • on July 8, 2011, 3:41 GMT

    grt bhajjjiii.......................u r gr8.................................

  • on July 8, 2011, 3:40 GMT

    @StraightHit : Exactly... he is fighter and its fun watching him play... he plays like warrior...

  • on July 8, 2011, 3:29 GMT

    he has the worst strike rate among the bowlers who have taken more thn 400 wickets. he is not a class bowler to me

  • himanshu.team on July 8, 2011, 3:07 GMT

    Bhajji is still just a "good" bowler. He has all the traits that can make him "Great". But just taking 400 wickets is not enough, if he shows a little bit of patience and starts to just work on his strengths, without experimenting too much, he can easily another 200 - 300 wickets. Now he has all the experience and the skills. It is only upto him, how he wants to be known: A good off spinner OR a great bowler Or maybe even alegend. He has what it takes, but needs to show it more than ever NOW!

  • alampervez on July 8, 2011, 2:51 GMT

    gr8 achievement by bhajji............. congratulates . but how many wicket he has taken outside subcontinent.

  • KAIRAVA on July 8, 2011, 2:49 GMT

    Yes he has reached 400 wkts, but he will never ever feature in the 1st or 2nd or 3rd lists of the all time World XI of test cricket. His name won't even be featured in the best Asian XI or the 2nd best Asian XI of all time.

  • S.N.Singh on July 8, 2011, 2:00 GMT

    I THINK IT IS AN ACHIEVEMENT FOR ANY BOWLER TO REACH THAT LAND MARK OF 400 HUNDRED WICKETS. HARBHAJAN BOWLING WHEN THE ICC/AUSTRALIA WENT AFTER HIM ON HIS DORSA AND I THINK HE SHOULD USE THE DORSA MORE WITH THE FLIPPER. HARBHAJAN BOWLES BETTER WHEN HE GET TO BOWL ON GOOD BATSMEN. THE BATSMEN OF THE WEST INDIES CALIBRE SHOULD GET HIM MORE WICKETS, PROVIDING HE SET A NORMAL FEILD AND INVITE THESE PLAYERS TO PLAY SHOTS, INSTEAD OF GOING DEFENSIVE. LET THEM GO ON THE OFFENSIVE. DHONI WILL HAVE TO PLACE A DEEP MID-WICKET FOR HARBJHAN AND ALLOW THE TAIL TO GO AT HIM. AND HE WILL HAVE TO USE HIS DORSA TO THE TAIL IF HE NEED TO GET MORE WICKET.

  • truebleue_cricfan on July 8, 2011, 2:00 GMT

    When Richard Hadlee got to 400 test wickets, it was a stunnng achievement. Everyone was amazed and it really was new ground for the bowlers. Now 400 is not a big deal at all. If a bowler plays for more than 10 years, he is likely to touch 400 irrespective of how well he has bowled. Harbhajan's achievement, with his above 30 average doesnt invoke the same awe as it did when Hadlee reached 400 wickets. And statistics fail to capture the effectiveness of a bowler such as Harbhajan who I think was praised a bit too much for his non existing abilities. An average bowler who got lucky because of backing by the people who mattered and thus ensured that he played on and on without getting dropped.

  • on July 8, 2011, 1:56 GMT

    of all the great bowlers, how many average better than 4 wickets per match? i guess that is a lot said.you will be surprised to know that walsh, kapil and wasim akram did not manage that.

  • sanath007 on July 8, 2011, 1:43 GMT

    He's no murali, but for an off spinner he's definitely a good bowler you can expect a few wickets from for sure. respect him as a SL supporter, doesn't like his celebrations tho

  • Sach_is_Life on July 8, 2011, 1:37 GMT

    No matter wat others say ... I always enjoys watching ui play ( Whether its his bowling or batting ) bhajji .. u r one of the best bowlers to play 4 india n certainly one of the best match winners with bowl ( 2nd after Anil Bhai IMO) u've one of the best 5 for per innings ( 4th in this elite list i guess after Murali, Hadlee n Anil ) and 10 wickets per match ratios ( 5th best) and that shows how imp u are for this Indian team .. Yes..People will talk ..they'll talk as if playing 96 matches is easy..they'll talk as if getting 400 wickets is easy .. lol wat they dont know is most of the players in that 400 wickets took more matches/innings than u to get there .. yes .. their avg n sr rate are better than urs .. but they dont bowl on the sub cont flat tracks all the time esply in the 1st innings ..wat they dont know is you are No 6 in all time highest wicket getters in 3rd n 4th innings But who cares ...People will talk .. thats all they can do ..u just keep going Bhajji..All the best !!

  • on July 8, 2011, 1:33 GMT

    Harbhajan is an average bowler, and his stats show. Look at his away average - it's nearly 38. In fact, it's amongst all bowlers with more than 100 away wickets, he has the worst average of all.

    In fact, Murali's average nosedives when you look at the away average. Same with Kumble. They were both overrated bowlers too. Relied upon tailor-made pitches :)

    True spin champ seems to be Warne, whose average doesn't change - home or away. That average, however, was built against the English, who don't play spin well, and don't play India and SL as much.

    To summarize, Warne and Murali were the only 'good' spin bowlers of our times. Others don't even compare. I won't call either of them great. That term is reserved for Akram, Marshall and Barnes.

  • on July 8, 2011, 1:25 GMT

    It is worth remembering at 31, especially in todays world where sportsmen can tailor their fitness programmes to last way beyond the norms of 20 years ago, and as a spinner, perhaps the least phyically demanding role on the cricket field, he is just beginning to enter his peak. He could be the pre-eminent bowler of the next decade, he has time.

  • on July 8, 2011, 1:12 GMT

    A lot of you commenting here have criticised Harbhajan. One of you also ended up saying any bowler can take 400 wickets in 100 tests. It is very easy to sit behind a computer and write criticise.

    I think Harbhajan is a great bowler - he is fiesty and more importantly he has always been reliable when India most needed whether be with bat or bowl. Remember that it is in his era that India were able to beat Australia - the no.1 side - on many occasions.

    You are all entitled to your opinions but rememeber years down the road the cricket history will remember Harbhajan's greatness and none of the immature comments. So much for lol!

  • CricketChat on July 8, 2011, 1:02 GMT

    I would call Harbhajan an honest trier, combative, above average bowler who can certainly win a match of his bowling on helpful conditions.

  • arya_underfoot on July 8, 2011, 0:54 GMT

    it's fascinating that harbhajan produces these polarised opinions from cricket fans- a bit like his bowling really. he has it in him to be devastatingly incisive at one moment and then toothless and ineffective the next. a murali he is most certainly not- even the most parochial indian fan will agree. however, to dismiss him as just another ordinary bowler is belittling and more importantly, inaccurate. he has bowled some of the great spells of spin bowling in modern times. at his best, there are shades of greatness, true greatness, like a murali or a warne, about him. however, there has been a significant amount of mediocrity mixed in that has let him down. still, 400 wickets is no simple achievement, and i'm sure there's at least 100 or so wickets in him...

  • MrMMJ on July 8, 2011, 0:43 GMT

    @Sheheryar Malik- If someone thinks anyone can take 400 wickets after playing 96 tests then how about the Wasim Akram. He took the same amount of tests to complete 400 wickets. As per your logic Wasim is just another ordinary bowler. To all readers...... A bowlers worth and contribution can never be judged solely based on his avg. and strike rate. He completed his 400 wickets faster then 4 others who grace this unique club. Bhajji is a great bowler and have contributed heavily in India's rise in last decade.

  • on July 8, 2011, 0:36 GMT

    Harbhajhan's best is yet to come,however he is no match to Prasanna and sequelin Mustaque as an off spinner.

    Like Murlitharan he was a controversial bowler in the beginning,still if he keep cool than probably no one can match him. He can learn anything and master it if he has little patience. Like sequilain he hit century when he wanted to prove a point that he can be depended as a batsman too in crisis whether to defend in tests or score fast in one dayers

  • on July 8, 2011, 0:33 GMT

    Harbhajan is a great spinner.... He has a gutsy character. Just count on his efforts in getting win. read his 10 best performances... CRITICS, please first find an equivlanet talented spinner inINDIA,,,,,then replace Harbhajan..........I can only see Ashwin in his category,,nd good luck to ASHWIN to represen India in future......

  • on July 8, 2011, 0:30 GMT

    Mohammad Rafiq from bd far better bowler then harbajan...

  • Karsh on July 8, 2011, 0:20 GMT

    forget about stats and records that don't make you great player(Kallis is having better records than Sachin,Ponting and Lara, but never been considered in that class).To play international cricket as first choice spinner for the country which has been the land of spinners, is a great achievement in itself.He hasn't been able to perform upto potential,but that doesn't make he is a mean player.Dravid and Steve Waugh are the only players who have maximize their potential and deliver.

  • on July 8, 2011, 0:13 GMT

    When Harbhajan retires I doubt anybody will even remember him, forget about being a legend he is nowhere near being a great bowler, should never be compared with even Kumble let alone Warne

  • on July 8, 2011, 0:04 GMT

    Guys who keep on complaining abt Indian bowlers averages should first think abt the pitches they bowl in. U guys discredit the stats of Indian batsmen pointing the flat tracks they play. Indian bowlers also bowl in the same pitches so their avg will be on the higher side

  • on July 7, 2011, 23:48 GMT

    @Johnjoy: I agree. Any bowler who plays 100 tests can get 400 wickets. Because only the players of such calibre can be in the team to play 100 tests. Harbhajan is not just another bowler. Though he is not in the same class of the other 10, he has still done a lot. If you consider the number of bowlers who enter the test arena, only very few cross or get close to the 100 test mark. So in that aspect, to be one among the very few is not so easy

  • NP_NY on July 7, 2011, 23:42 GMT

    @Sheheryar Malik: Looks like you didn't actually read this article. You're the only one comparing him with Murali and Warne, not the writer. Harbhajan may not be the best, but he's definitely a match winner, sometimes with the bat which Warne and Murali never did. But the fact remains that he's in the 400 club which only 10 other players are in and none of today's spinners are even close to that mark. You speak of averages - barring Graeme Swann can you name any spinner who is playing today with a Test bowling average of less than 30? Also don't forget that today the pitches are more and more batsmen friendly compared to even 10 years ago.

  • HatsforBats on July 7, 2011, 23:38 GMT

    An average over 30 and a SR over 60 playing predominantly in a spinners paradise against teams uncomfortable with the conditions show that Singh is an average bowler who has benefited from longevity. If it wasn't for his runs off the bat in the last few seasons Mishra would've played more tests. @ Deepanjan Datta: in the twilight of his career (2005), Warne took 96 wickets @22, hardly struggling.

  • crictime11 on July 7, 2011, 23:29 GMT

    i agree w/ most of the posters above about the rank of harbhajan amongst players like shane warne and murali... jst mentioning those two names wld send a chill down most batsmen's spines... harbhajan not as much lol!

  • satanswish on July 7, 2011, 23:19 GMT

    Bhajji is a great bowler. Who can forget his memorable performance vs Australia in 2001.

  • on July 7, 2011, 23:04 GMT

    He is not the striking bowler he used to be. His sting in gone. It will be interesting if cricinfo comes out with with an analysis and his progress every 50 or 100 wickets. His dip in form in obvious but he has the backing of the selectors to ensure other spinners dont get enough look in.He is not a threat to Murali's 800 as had been made out. The comment was meant more as a joke.

  • Rahulbose on July 7, 2011, 23:00 GMT

    Comparing Harbhajan with other greats whole have retired is very premature. His legacy can only be judged after he quits the game. He could easily end up with 3500+ runs and more than 600 wickets.

  • Venki_indian on July 7, 2011, 22:59 GMT

    Harbhajan is a better bowler in ODIs and T20s than tests...he lost his rythm in tests, may be because of playing more limited over cricket..lets hope he will be back

  • roxap on July 7, 2011, 22:55 GMT

    All the great bowlers of the past and present have bowling avg of much less than 30 except the so called legends of indian bowling, i dont know who on earth will consider a bowler a great if he avges so high in test matches, and outside subcontinent he is pathetic

  • dalok on July 7, 2011, 22:54 GMT

    I will agree that Harbhajan is not in the same class as the other 10 in 400+ wickets club. He has the highest average, economy and lowest strike rate amongst the 11 club members. However, having said that he is still a good bowler. There is really no other bowler in India who can say that they deserve a place over Harbhajan. Kind of sad state of affairs in the birthplace of spin.

  • Sautrik on July 7, 2011, 22:52 GMT

    with murli and warne retired, is he the best spinner left in the game today? some say its Swann but u hav to consider harbajan's experience compared to swann... would love ur opinion mr veera.

  • on July 7, 2011, 22:50 GMT

    @Sheheryar Malik...Saqlain Mushtaq was not in the class of Warne, Murali, or Kumble. He was a very good bowler, but these are some of the best of all time. Anyway, Bhajji's done quite well. What he has offered to the team goes beyond statistics and more in the realm of aggressive attitude, picking up major wickets, and producing match winning spells.

  • Johnjoy on July 7, 2011, 22:45 GMT

    Congrats Harbhajan.... but...he is not a great bowler. He is just another bowler. I feel, any bowler who played 100 Test matches can get 400 Wickets.

  • Saxo on July 7, 2011, 22:43 GMT

    Great article, nicely capturing the duality of the attaching Harbhajan & the defensive offie who spears it in on leg and middle. May be he is defensive due to playing in the limited over versions of the game. He is not done yet and can aspire to more in tests and ODIs.

    No matter what the critics say, he has 400 test wickets and a couple of centuries - they can always eat their words!

  • on July 7, 2011, 22:13 GMT

    murali...warne ....harbhajan???? LOL

  • KirGop on July 7, 2011, 22:04 GMT

    Hes lucky for being there.. Its a case of riff raff making it big. He has extra ordinary support within his team. But as far as talent and quality go, there are heaps of folks above him. His one bight spot was the 2001 tests - two of them which feature in all time lists. Apart from that he's lucky to have featured in a team for that long.

  • boston_pride on July 7, 2011, 22:03 GMT

    Harbhajan 6 or 7 yrs back was a matchwinner n aggressive bowler... in fact he was so good that he could keep Kumble out of the team... But unlike other great spinners like Warne, Murali or Kumble who got better with age, he has deteriorated... He could have been a great bowler but now I think he'll be rated as a good defensive bowler

  • on July 7, 2011, 21:47 GMT

    He has overtaken Kapil Dev as the worst player to have taken over 400 test wickets. Harbhajan is a useless bowler along with Kumble and Kapil any player to have taken that many wickets and have a strike rate of over 60 doesn't deserve to be called a good player and all 3 of these 'bowlers' have that

  • on July 7, 2011, 21:46 GMT

    Don't forget that Bajji have two test centuries to his name. Only Kumble among the top four has one test century.

  • on July 7, 2011, 21:44 GMT

    He is the only one with a 30+ average among the 400+ club. Maybe it says something.

  • gestapo on July 7, 2011, 21:41 GMT

    sriram,,your articles make interesting reading and even when u explain the finer points of the game,,u keep it simple and fluent just like the follow-through of the bat during a cover drive,,keep it up.,,wonderful job.

  • on July 7, 2011, 21:39 GMT

    Good one Mr Veera, really interesting article...

  • Ladev on July 7, 2011, 21:35 GMT

    why does the article sound like a "farewell".....

  • on July 7, 2011, 21:35 GMT

    I think he has done enough to justify his position in the team. He has delivered more often than not. Wish you all the best in future bhajji! Rock on. This is a great achievement. Hope you can cross the 500 mark soon :)

  • on July 7, 2011, 21:28 GMT

    I always become surprised when people compare Harbajan with Warne, Kumble, Murli, Mushtaq,

    After playing 96 test, 400 wickets is not something to cheer.. Especially as a spinner when you are bowling at least 1/3 of the total overs of the innings, it 400 wickets in 96 tests seems really under par. .. If he has played only 20 or 30 test matches then this reason can be justified that he did not played according to his class. But after around 100 test and more than 200 ODI these comments really look very funny.. And his class is also been reflected by his statistics.. He has a bowling average of more than 32 in both Test and ODI..

  • ToTellUTheTruth on July 7, 2011, 21:28 GMT

    Enough with this waxing eloquent about this guy. He is nothing but a liability and should be shunned right away. Once in a blue moon performance is not good enough to be included in the side, game after game. Even Bedi said the best spinner in Indian team is Viru. So, dump this guy and move on with the future.

  • on July 7, 2011, 21:22 GMT

    Retrospect is a beautiful thing, especially in sport. There've been men more talented - Grimmett and O'reilly, Lance Gibbs, Bishen Bedi, Derek Underwood, Abdul Qadir etc. each a master of their art, who never got to this mark , never played as many test matches, let alone ODIs and T20s. Perhaps his early fame and the fact that Harbhajan is a matchwinner, criticism notwithstanding, and increasingly so with the bat takes away from the hard work that spin bowling has become in recent times. Murali and Warne struggled to buy wickets in the twilight of their career with their art, often the wickets were more the force of their personality. Not to say Bhajji is anywhere near those 'greats' .. he has to show more hunger, more ambition. He certainly has the ingredients. Let's hope he finds the desire

  • bala_ind on July 7, 2011, 21:17 GMT

    He is the leading wicket taker among the bowlers who are currently playing their test career.

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  • bala_ind on July 7, 2011, 21:17 GMT

    He is the leading wicket taker among the bowlers who are currently playing their test career.

  • on July 7, 2011, 21:22 GMT

    Retrospect is a beautiful thing, especially in sport. There've been men more talented - Grimmett and O'reilly, Lance Gibbs, Bishen Bedi, Derek Underwood, Abdul Qadir etc. each a master of their art, who never got to this mark , never played as many test matches, let alone ODIs and T20s. Perhaps his early fame and the fact that Harbhajan is a matchwinner, criticism notwithstanding, and increasingly so with the bat takes away from the hard work that spin bowling has become in recent times. Murali and Warne struggled to buy wickets in the twilight of their career with their art, often the wickets were more the force of their personality. Not to say Bhajji is anywhere near those 'greats' .. he has to show more hunger, more ambition. He certainly has the ingredients. Let's hope he finds the desire

  • ToTellUTheTruth on July 7, 2011, 21:28 GMT

    Enough with this waxing eloquent about this guy. He is nothing but a liability and should be shunned right away. Once in a blue moon performance is not good enough to be included in the side, game after game. Even Bedi said the best spinner in Indian team is Viru. So, dump this guy and move on with the future.

  • on July 7, 2011, 21:28 GMT

    I always become surprised when people compare Harbajan with Warne, Kumble, Murli, Mushtaq,

    After playing 96 test, 400 wickets is not something to cheer.. Especially as a spinner when you are bowling at least 1/3 of the total overs of the innings, it 400 wickets in 96 tests seems really under par. .. If he has played only 20 or 30 test matches then this reason can be justified that he did not played according to his class. But after around 100 test and more than 200 ODI these comments really look very funny.. And his class is also been reflected by his statistics.. He has a bowling average of more than 32 in both Test and ODI..

  • on July 7, 2011, 21:35 GMT

    I think he has done enough to justify his position in the team. He has delivered more often than not. Wish you all the best in future bhajji! Rock on. This is a great achievement. Hope you can cross the 500 mark soon :)

  • Ladev on July 7, 2011, 21:35 GMT

    why does the article sound like a "farewell".....

  • on July 7, 2011, 21:39 GMT

    Good one Mr Veera, really interesting article...

  • gestapo on July 7, 2011, 21:41 GMT

    sriram,,your articles make interesting reading and even when u explain the finer points of the game,,u keep it simple and fluent just like the follow-through of the bat during a cover drive,,keep it up.,,wonderful job.

  • on July 7, 2011, 21:44 GMT

    He is the only one with a 30+ average among the 400+ club. Maybe it says something.

  • on July 7, 2011, 21:46 GMT

    Don't forget that Bajji have two test centuries to his name. Only Kumble among the top four has one test century.