Mumbai:Feisty off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has named dashing teammate Virender Sehwag and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the two major game changers in the Indian squad due to their ability to dominate the opposition bowlers and hitting the ball with power.
"There are a number of players in our team who have the ability to change the game. Virender Sehwag is one of them. Every time he is batting we know that he will dominate all the bowlers. He has changed the game for us during difficult situations," Harbhajan has been quoted as saying by a media release.
"Another game changer for us is M S Dhoni who has got his own technique. He has a lot of power to hit the ball all around the field. These are two guys who are the big game changers in our team," said the off-spinner for Pepsi's "Change the Game" campaign ahead of the upcoming World Cup. Harbhajan also mentioned Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq as his inspiration for developing his "Doosra" that had helped him snare many a victim in his career.
"When I was a kid and used to practice in Chandigarh, I used to see Saqlain Mustaq who bowled a lot of Doosras. I keenly observed him and came up with my own ideas and thoughts to perfect the ball.
"I practiced hard along with my colleague, Arun Verma, a wicketkeeper, to apply my own technique and understanding to it. It took a lot of hard-work, dedication and time to develop this wicket taking ball. I mastered bowling the Doosra after over two years of practice and continue to do so," said the slow bowler who has two Test tons under his belt.
The fighting cricketer also recalled his successes with this type of delivery in which the off break bowler turns the ball the other way, especially his memorable hat-trick against Australia in the second Test in March 2001 at the Eden Gardens which India won after following on.
"I remember a lot of games where 'Doosra' has changed the game for not just me but for India. I remember a game in Kolkata where we were playing against Australia and they were hammering all our bowlers. I suddenly bowled one 'Doosra' to Ricky Ponting and got him out LBW.
"I went on to take my first hat trick (Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne) for India in that match. That was surely a game changer at that particular time," said the 30-year-old bowler, who is seven short of grabbing 400 wickets in Test cricket.
Harbhajan also commented on the changes seen in the game of cricket over the years while talking about the game changers that he admired.
"The game has changed dramatically over time. There are a lot of different and innovative shots played by the batsmen nowadays. It can be a nightmare for the bowlers as a batsman can hit the ball anywhere," he said.