Tuesday, October 3

Harbhajan Singh recalls when Misbah-ul-Haq smashed him for three sixes in the 2007 T20 World Cup final


“In the air, Sreesanth takes it, India wins” these words from Ravi Shastri will always remain alive in the heart of Indian fans as the relatively young Indian side led by MS Dhoni defeated the arch-rivals Pakistan in the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup in 2007.

A premium contest which resulted in an epic thriller went to the last over when Pakistan batsman Misbah-ul-Haq played a scoop shot. It went straight to S. Sreesanth positioned at short fine-leg, who made no mistake in grabbing the catch. However, there was a stage in the match when the momentum was on Pakistan’s side, especially when Misbah smashed India spinner Harbhajan Singh for three sixes in an over.

Recalling the same situation, Harbhajan spoke to ESPNcricinfo’s ‘The Cricket Monthly’ and revealed what was exactly going on with him during the game. It was the 17th over of the match when the offie was struck for 19 runs.

“Because after I was hit for a six, the pressure kept increasing. Rather than thinking about what to do next, I was rushing through my deliveries. I wanted just to finish that over and feel, Chalo, ho gaya mera [I’ve finished my job],” said Harbhajan.

“Take that over where Misbah went after me. Okay, anybody can be hit for six or two sixes or three sixes, but was my process correct? Many times we [bowlers] are ourselves so scared about being hit, we send the batsman the message that we are on the back foot,” added the veteran bowler.

Harbhajan said that he wanted to apply the same strategy he did in the semi-final clash against Australia. During that game (vs Australia), the ‘Turbunator’ bowled quicker balls and troubled the batsmen. He did the same against Pakistan, but it didn’t work.

“I know against Misbah, I just wanted to bowl the quicker delivery and the yorker. Because in the semi-final, against Australia, I bowled six yorkers and it worked. Maybe there I was taking a bit longer, I was more focused, more composed, and able to stick to my plan,” the 39-year-old added further.

Harbhajan also clarified what went wrong with his tactic. The Jalandhar-born said that he was rushing and probably that’s the reason he was unable to settle and bowl properly.

“Against Pakistan, maybe I was rushing. I was not soaking up the pressure. When you are in a rush, you are not settled. Your feet are not working properly. Or your hands do not coordinate smoothly into your bowling action. Your front hand falls down quickly, or your bowling hand comes late, sometimes the ball does not spin, and what you want does not happen,” the 39-year-old signed-off.

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