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JUGGERNAUT
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"JAI HO" BHAJJI

on Tue Nov 16, 2010 1:22 am
Is Harbhajan becoming India’s new all-rounder?

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It may look extremely baffling but the truth is on paper. Harbhajan Singh, the mercurial off-spinner has been shining with the bat off late for India. Prior to the ongoing series against New Zealand, Bhajji had played in as many as 86 tests and 212 ODIs and his best score was 66 in tests and he is yet to get a 50 in ODI cricket.
But, the current series has changed it all for the wily old fox of Indian cricket. Even as he failed to torment the batsmen from down under (Aussies included) with the ball, he stunningly raced to becoming the highest run-getter for India so far in the series against New Zealand.

This even made Rahul Dravid bestow the tag of 'Garfield Sobers' on Harbhajan Singh. "Bhajji has been batting brilliantly this season and he is developing into a good all-rounder like Sir Sobers". It certainly may be stretching it too far to refer to Bhajji as Sobers but the fact that he made someone come up with such a remark is itself a matter of pride for Bhajji.

Call it the Gary Kirsten magic (Sachin and Gambhir both had showered huge praises on the Indian coach just the other day) or simply Bhajji's unpredictability with the willow, the bottom line is that it has worked wonders not just for Bhajji but also for the Indian team as on both occasions, India were having their backs to the wall before the magic of Harbhajan unfolded.


Averages 147 in this series!

What has been most stunning about Harbhajan's recent batting form is the sudden burst of consistency and not just the two hundreds. It actually began with that first innings effort of 69 during a 9th wicket stand of 66 runs with Pragyan Ojha, which propelled India to 487 in the first innings at Ahmedabad. It would be interesting to take a look at Harbhajan Singh's overall test batting record and compare the same with the ongoing series to know what a fairy tale it has been for him.

Overall test batting record


Tests Runs Average Highest score 100s 50s
89 1896 18.65 115 2 8
Current series against New Zealand

Tests Runs Average Highest score 100s 50s
2 295 147.50 115 2 1

Is he becoming a genuine all-rounder?

As Harbhajan scored his maiden ton in a match-saving exercise at the Motera last week, even his biggest fan would have thought of it as a one-off if not some kind of a flash in the pan effort. But, the Hyderabadi inning has certainly woken up the analyst in every cricket fan. The big question that would cross every cricket lover's mind after the two back-to-back hundreds is whether Bhajji has graduated from being useful lower order batsmen who tops the tail of Indian batting to a genuine all-rounder, who has plenty of potential with the bat.

It is a very difficult question to answer and one where there definitely cannot be immediate answers. Harbhajan needs to convince he is good with the bat on different surfaces and under different conditions. He also needs to get consistency to his batting abilities.

Not many would forget that he had shown similar spark with the bat in 2008 both home and away against Australia when he got 4 half centuries against an attack that included the likes of Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson. Long before that in 2002, Bhajji also showed his capabilities with the willow in seaming conditions when he got a gritty 50 against England at Nottingham.

Having said that, there were many occasions when Bhajji has been guilty of getting out with poor shot selection. Even with the current exploits with the bat, Bhajji would find it hard to retain his position in the team over the longer time frame if he doesn't work on his bowling. In many ways, his batting efforts have cushioned his poor form with the cherry.

Bowling form is serious cause for worry

Be it in the series against Australia, which India won with great deal of conviction or the current series against a resolute New Zealand, Bhajji has been off-colour with the ball by his standards and has picked up only a single five wicket haul and his average was none-too-impressive at 42 plus per wicket. This is in stark contrast to his overall career bowling record, which is quite impressive especially at home. The easier way to look at Bhajji's declining bowling power is to compare his overall test record with the one in 2010.

Overall test bowling record


Tests Wickets Average Best figures 5 wkts in an inning
89 373 31.76 8/84 24
2010 test bowling record

Tests Wickets Average Best figures 5 wkts in an inning
9 30 42.30 5/59 1
So then, amid all the celebrations and euphoria surrounding the wonderful two hundreds which will be cherished for a long long time, the question that also needs to be addressed is whether Harbhajan merits a place based on his batting abilities or should also come good with the ball, which is his KRA in the Indian team.
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chiragmech31
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Re: "JAI HO" BHAJJI

on Wed Nov 17, 2010 7:45 pm
yeah bhajji is doing well and great form in this days!!!!

and his doosara bowling is best in world cricket.
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JUGGERNAUT
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Re: "JAI HO" BHAJJI

on Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:41 pm
he can be the next allrounder but still far behind kapil dev as allrounder, he was great in his times and alot more has to be achieved to be in his place...!
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Nop Nek
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Re: "JAI HO" BHAJJI

on Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:37 am
brazilian soccer rox Smile
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JUGGERNAUT
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Re: "JAI HO" BHAJJI

on Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:24 am
yeah mate it would be good to have some soocer news too i will farward to it...!
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