Veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh has claimed that he never found it difficult to bowl against Chris Gayle and stated that the trick to succeed against the West Indian was to bowl slow. Harbhajan further stated that Rohit Sharma and AB de Villiers are the toughest batsmen to bowl to in T20 cricket.
With over 700 international wickets to his name, Harbhajan Singh has engraved his name as one of the greatest off-spinners of all time and his IPL accolades - 150 wickets in 160 games - have further added to his legacy. Throughout his career, the off-spinner has indulged in several interesting battles and one such legendary combat is his duel with Chris Gayle, with the duo fighting it out multiple times in both international cricket and the IPL.
However, interestingly, despite Gayle boasting of the reputation of being the most destructive batsman in the game’s history, Harbhajan has revealed that he never found it difficult to bowl against the big man from the Caribbean. The 39-year-old attested that Gayle is someone who can be tamed easily if the ball is delivered slow to him and added that someone like a David Warner is much tougher to bowl against.
“Compared to Gayle, Warner is more difficult for me to bowl to. Gayle, if someone bowls quick to him, he will keep hitting sixes. If someone bowls slow to him, he'll have to come out of the crease, which he is not comfortable with. I have never ever felt it difficult to bowl against Gayle,” Harbhajan told ESPNCricinfo.
“I have bowled a lot at him in powerplays. He did not have the sweep. He did not have the shot over mid-on. Warner hits everywhere, so it is very important to vary the pace against him. Your body language, your eye contact has to be right. You cannot show him you are scared.”
Since making his T20 debut in 2006, the veteran off-spinner has bowled to a plethora of world-class batsmen in T20 cricket, including Adam Gilchrist, Virender Sehwag, David Warner and Matthew Hayden, but he had no hesitation in picking the duo of Rohit Sharma and AB de Villiers as the two toughest batsmen he’s bowled to in the T20 format.
“Rohit Sharma and AB de Villiers are the two most dangerous batsmen to bowl against. They have all kinds of strokes,” he said when asked about the toughest batsmen to bowl to in T20s.
Furthermore, the former Mumbai Indians man picked his spell against CSK in the 2013 IPL final as the most satisfying spell he’s bowled in the IPL.
"In 2013, 2 for 14 against Chennai at Eden Gardens was the most satisfying. It was a low-scoring match. The 2015 final too was at the same ground. I took 2 for 34, again against Chennai, in a high-scoring match.”