Mumbai:After his whirlwind knock of 49 not out followed by a three-wicket haul helped Mumbai Indians crush Deccan Chargers by 41 runs in their Indian Premier League clash on Sunday, Harbhajan Singh said everything fell in place for him, save for not crossing the 50-run mark.
"Yes ten minutes can change the course of a match. It was probably my day. Every shot came off the middle. I know I can hit a ball and have played a few knocks for India, including one innings at Baroda against the Australians where I made 49. Probably I have to do some Pooja (to get past it and complete 50," said the feisty off-spinner at the post-match press conference.
Harbhajan revealed that he played with a bat gifted to him by team captain Sachin Tendulkar.
"I thank Sachin for giving me his bat to play with," he said.
Harbhajan said that the team had a plan to start the bowling with him and the move paid dividends as Tendulkar took a great catch at slip to dismiss rival dangerman and captain Adam Gilchrist off the second ball of the Deccan run chase.
"We had talked that probably I might have to start the bowling and I have done it for India too. It's not easy, to bowl during the power plays. But when it's your day everything clicks and Sachin took a blinder. It was a very important wicket as Gilchrist is a dangerous player who can finish the match in 15 or 17 overs," he said.
The India off-spinner said he told rival bowler Jaskaran Singh after being at the receiving end of two successive beamers in the last over of the Mumbai Indians innings not to injure him as he has a tour of West Indies to follow.
"I told him don't injure me. I have to go to the West Indies (for the Twenty20 World Cup next month)," he said.
Harbhajan would not yet label Mumbai Indians as the favourites as he felt things can change in a jiffy in the Twenty20 format.
"I don't want to say whether we are favourites or any other team. Twenty20 game is very funny. We need to play good cricket and our first goal is to become the first team to make the semifinals," he declared.
Gilchrist said till Harbhajan took the game away with his 18-ball innings that contained two sixes and eight fours, the Chargers were very much in control of the proceedings.
"His (Harbhajan's) innings turned the match around. It was a Sehwag-like innings and Tendulkar played intelligently. It was not the last five overs (when Chargers conceded 72 runs) but the last two which turned it around," the retired Australian cricketer said.
"Till he (Harbhajan) came to bat we were in a very strong position and it looked like we had to chase a total of 140 or 150," he said.
Gilchrist maintained that the 173-run target set by Mumbai Indians was chaseable as the wicket was a good one right through, but his batsmen played poor shots and got out.
"(West Indian speedster) Kemar Roach was off target in the last when Harbhajan went after him. But still 172 was good to chase but no batsman was there to support Rohit Sharma (45)," he said.
The former Australian stumper said that he was not surprised to see Harbhajan come on to bowl the first over.
He said his team was doing well in patches but had to be more consistent. "We are doing bits and pieces well. We need to be more consistent," he maintained.