As Harbhajan Singh Retires, Relive His Historic Hat-trick vs Australia In 2001. Watch Video
Harbhajan Singh dismissed Ricky Ponting (6), Adam Gilchrist (0) and Shane Warne (0) in the 72nd over of Australia's first innings at Eden Gardens in Kolkata to become the first Indian to claim a Test hat-trick.
- Harbhajan Singh announced his retirement from cricket on December 24
- The off-spinner had become the first Indian to claim a Test hat-trick
- Harbhajan dismissed Ponting, Warne and Gilchrist in 2001 in Kolkata
Veteran India spinner Harbhajan Singh on Friday (December 24) announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. The legendary off-spinner who is only the second Indian to pick more than 700 international wickets – the first one being Anil Kumble – decided to draw the curtains on a career spanning 23 years. "There comes a time in life, you have to take tough decisions and you have to move on. From the past year, I wanted to make an announcement, and I was waiting for the right time to share the moment with all of you. Today, I am taking retirement from all formats of cricket. Mentally, I retired earlier but couldn't announce it,” Harbhajan said in a video posted on his YouTube channel.
The two-time World Cup winner – 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 ODI World Cup – made his debut for India in 1998 but it took him close to three years to become a household name with an outstanding performance in a three-match Test series against Australia. Harbhajan's 32-wicket effort in those three Tests is still rated by many as one of the finest performance by an Indian spinner in a series.
In the second Test of that series, Harbhajan etched his name on the history books by becoming the first Indian to claim a Test hat-trick. Harbhajan dismissed Ricky Ponting (6), Adam Gilchrist (0) and Shane Warne (0) in the 72nd over of Australia's first innings at Eden Gardens in Kolkata to send the capacity crowd into frenzy.
Watch: How Harbhajan Singh became the first Indian to claim a Test hat-trick
‘The Turbanator' returned with figures of 7/123 in the first innings and also played a stellar role in bowling the visitors out in the final two sessions of Day 5 to help India achieve a remarkable 171-run win after being asked to follow on. He got 6 for 73 in the second innings.
“Speaking about my cricket career. My first moment of joy was when I took a hat-trick in Kolkata, becoming the first Indian to do so in Test cricket. During that series, I took 32 wickets in three matches, and it is still a record,” Harbhajan said about his achievement on Friday.
In the series-deciding last Test of that series, Harbhajan picked up 15 wickets – 7 in the first and 8 in the second - as India won the match by 2 wickets to win the series 2-1.
Harbhajan finished with 707 wickets in 365 international matches.