Younis Khan made me feel like crying: Harbhajan
Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, in his 18-year-long international career, has played against some of the greatest batsmen of the modern era. Regarded as one of the best off-spinners India has ever produced, Harbhajan, had duels with the likes of Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden, Brian Lara, Jacques Kallis, Hashim Amla, Kumar Sangakkara, Inzamam-ul-Haq and many more. Against some, he emerged on top while some had the better of Harbhajan.
When asked to talk about the toughest batsmen he has played against by former teammate Rohit Sharma in an Instagram live session, Harbhajan, who has 417 Test wickets and 239 in ODIs, did not have much difficulty.
Harbhajan named one each from South Africa and Australia, two from Pakistan and one from West Indies in his list of top five batsmen who troubled him the most during his career.
The first name that Harbhajan took was of South Africa’s Jacques Kallis. The South Africa all-rounder, who is the country’s highest scorer in both forms of the game – 13,289 runs in Tests and 11,579 runs in ODIs – has a good record against Harbhajan. The right-hander was particularly severe against Harbhajan in ODIs. While Harbhajan did get him out a few times but in ODIs, he has never been able to dismiss Kallis. “I found Jacques Kallis very difficult to bowl at in Tests,” said Harbhajan.
The second name that Harbhajan took was of Australia opener Matthew Hayden’s. Regarded as one of the best openers of the game, Hayden was ruthless against the spinners. His tactic of running down the track and sweeping gave a hard time to spinners all around the globe and Harbhajan was no stranger to it.
The West Indian legend Brian Lara was the third in Harbhajan’s list. Though Harbhajan has not run into Lara that often in international cricket but the Indian off-spinner said the left-hander was brilliant. Lara retired with 11,953 runs in Tests and 10,405 runs in ODIs.
Former Pakistan batsman Younis Khan was next in Harbbhajan’s list. “Younis Khan troubled me a lot,” said Harbhajan and when Rohit reminded of the Pakistan batsman sweeping him repeatedly, Harbhajan said: “Yes, all the time, he made me feel crying,” added Harbhajan. Younis Khan scored 10,099 runs for Pakistan in 118 Tests with an average of 52.05.
“Inzamam is also someone I found hard to dismiss. There are many but I would choose these five,” Harbhajan took former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq’s name while completing his list. Inzamam scored 8,830 runs in Tests and 11,739 runs in ODIs for Pakistan.