Current BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has said that the Test series at home against Australia in 2001 was Harbhajan Singh’s greatest series as he single-handedly won the series and he was a captain’s delight. India won the three match Test series by 2-1 at home against Australia in 2001.
Harbhajan Singh recently announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. The veteran off-spinner has bagged 417 wickets in 103 Tests, 269 wickets in 236 ODIs and 25 wickets in 28 T20Is. Harbahajan played a vital role in the series when Australia toured India in 2001 for three Test matches. India won the series by 2-1 which included the iconic Eden Gardens Test. Harbhajan picked 32 wickets in three matches and also became the first India bowler to pick a Test hat-trick.
"His first full Test series against Australia in 2001 is the greatest that I have seen where one bowler single-handedly won the series. He was a captain's delight," Ganguly said in a BCCI statement.
"As a bowler, he hated putting fielders in the deep. Bhajji has been an absolute match winner. He should be proud of what he has achieved. I want to tell him that the new innings in his life will be as exciting."
Harbhajan finished with the figures of 13/196 and played a crucial role in the Kolkata Test to help India become only third team in Test history to win the fixture after being forced to follow-on. During his 23 year long career, Harbahjan was part of two ICC World Cup winning teams. He first won the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007 and the ODI tournament in 2011. Harbhajan was also known for his variations specially bringing in ‘Doosra’ to his game. Ganguly congratulated Harbhajan Singh for his remarkable career and further added that his hunger to perform was inspirational.
"I congratulate Harbhajan Singh on a remarkable career. He has faced several challenges in his life, but Bhajji is not the one to give up. He has overcome many hurdles and put many setbacks behind him to rise every time. What inspired me the most about him was his hunger to perform," he concluded.
"His strength was his guts and courage. He was always very passionate, and his immense self-belief meant he never shied away from a fight. He also kept the dressing room atmosphere light and that is something really important."