Harbhajan Singh or Bhajji as he is known, is one of the most sought after players of IPL! Like the unpredictable weather, his bowling attack is full of surprises and it’s serendipitous to watch him.

Harbhajan Singh might have fallen out of favour with the Indian selectors over the past couple of seasons but he still remains to be a top class off spinner and that is something that has been on display whenever he has turned up against the world’s best in the IPL for the Mumbai Indians. He has represented the Mumbai Indians with distinction right from the first season and in fact led them to a trophy in the Champions League T20 in 2011. Harbhajan has been a vital member in the line of bowling attack of the most expensive team in the championship over the past 6 seasons and more often than not it is noticed that when he does well Mumbai Indians end up having a good time on the field!

Bhajji’s USP

The sort of variety and talent that Harbhajan Singh possesses as an off spinner makes him perfectly capable of bowling at any stage of the innings for the Mumbai Indians, depending on the match situation as well as the conditions. Over the years he has been an opening bowler and has also bowled with all his might, but his most crucial role has been that of keeping the momentum of the middle overs (quite between overs 7-16 ) when the game often seems to drift away.

Bhajji is Valued For..

In the inaugural IPL auctions that took place in 2008, Harbhajan Singh was a player whom almost every franchise wanted to acquire but it was the Mumbai Indians who eventually bagged him for $850,000. Since then he has remained with the same team (loyalty speaks?) and over the course of the IPL seasons he has been retained twice by the MI, which actually shows how highly he is valued by his team. He will be turning out for the MI in IPL 2014 as well.

Harbhajan Singh1 Harbhajan Singh: The Kohinoor of Mumbai Indians

Bhajji: Coveted One of Mumbai Indians

Bhajji’s Crests and Troughs in IPL Graph

In the last six seasons Harbhajan has been a rock solid force in the MI bowling attack lineup and has often come up with match winning performances for his side, but his best performances till date remains to be the 5-18 he took against the eventual champions the Chennai Super Kings in 2011. MI had set the CSK a target of 165 but Harbhajan Singh got the wicket of Raina at the top and then cleaned up the lower middle order in an excellent display. The CSK eventually fell short by 8 runs.

Numbers Game: –

Bowling

Mat

Balls

Runs

Wkts

BBM

Ave

Econ

SR

4w

5w

Career

82

1707

1925

78

5/18

24.67

6.76

21.88

1

1

2013

19

420

456

24

3/14

19.00

6.51

17.50

0

0

2012

17

324

384

6

2/13

64.00

7.11

54.00

0

0

2011

15

318

370

14

5/18

26.42

6.98

22.71

0

1

2010

15

321

377

17

3/31

22.17

7.04

18.88

0

0

2009

13

264

256

12

4/17

21.33

5.81

22.00

1

0

2008

3

60

82

5

3/32

16.40

8.20

12.00

0

0

As is evident from his record across the 6 IPL seasons so far is that Harbhajan Singh is that bowler of rare quality who can take wickets plus keep things tight. Barring the exception of the 2012 tournament in which he only picked up 6 wickets in 17 games, Harbhajan has been a consistent wicket taker and that is proven by his strike rate of close to 22. On the other hand, the economy rate of 6.76 is something that makes him the dream spinner for any T20 captain.

Did you know?

For a long time Harbhajan was known as this reclusive character that shunned the media spotlight but he has not been able to do so since he hooked up with actress Geeta Basra and if rumours are to be believed the two are about to get married soon. In fact, it was at an award function that Harbhajan spilled the beans on their relationship during an on stage chat with Shahrukh Khan.  On the field, he is a combative character though and his on field verbal needle with Shoaib Akhtar is a part of cricketing folklore.

By Soham Samaddar

Also See:
Yuvraj Singh-Time to Give the Critics and Fans Back
Mumbai Indians : The Team
Mad In India Holi Special With Harbhajan Singh

Picture Courtesy: Mumbai Indians@Facebook

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