Harbhajan Singh Plaha, famously known as Bhajji, is an Indian international cricketer who plays all forms of the cricket. He is the former captain of IPL team Mumbai Indians and Punjab for 2012–13 Ranji Trophy. He is also an Officer in the Punjab Police and has held the rank of a Superintendent of police to Punjab Police HQ at Barnala.
Some Lesser Known Facts about Harbhajan Singh
In 2002, Bhajji was offered the post of DSP in Punjab Police by Former CM, Prakash Badal. He was born on 3 July 1980 in Jalandhar, India. He is the only son of Sardar Sardev Singh Plaha, who was a businessman owning a ball bearing and valve factory.
Start out as a batsman
Initially, he was trained to be a batsman by his first coach, Charanjit Singh, but later under the instructions of Davinder Arora he was trained as a spin bowler.
First big performance
Harbhajan was selected in Punjab Under-16s at the age of 15 years and 4 months for 1995–96 season. He took 7/46 and 5/138 in debut against Haryana, setting up a nine-wicket win. In his next match, he scored 56 against Delhi and then took 11/79 in his third match against Himachal Pradesh.
In March 1998, Harbhajan made his Test debut against Australia where he took 2 wickets in the test. Singh was only 18 when he started his International career. He made his Test and One Day International (ODI) debuts in early 1998.
After Anil Kumble injury, Harbhajan’s career was resurrected
In 2001, when leg spinner Anil Kumble got injured, Harbhajan’s career was resurrected after Indian captain Sourav Ganguly introduced him in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy team. In that series, Harbhajan became the team’s leading spinner by taking 32 wickets, becoming the first Indian bowler to take a hat trick in Test cricket.
In 2003, he was awarded the Arjuna Award for Cricket. In 2009, he received the Padma Shri Award.
In 2008, he was banned by the ICC and was charged for an insult towards Andrew Symonds and in the same year, he was banned from the first IPL for slapping Sreesanth.
Lesser Known Facts about Harbhajan Singh
Some of his best records
Youngest Indian to take 400 wickets in Tests
When Harbhajan Singh took the wicket of Carlton Baugh in a Test match in July 2011, he became the youngest Indian to reach the 400-wicket mark in the format. In Test cricket history, only Muttiah Muralitharan had reached the milestone at a younger age.
India’s Most Successful Off-spinner in Tests
Harbhajan Singh’s 417 wickets in Test cricket are the most wickets taken by any Indian off-spinner. The next off-spinner on the list is Ravichandran Ashwin, who has picked up 275 wickets in his career so far.
He is the first Indian to take a Hat-trick in Test Cricket
In March 2001, Harbhajan Singh snatched the first-ever Test hat-trick by an Indian bowler, on the opening day of the second Test against Australia. He took the wicket of Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne, and Adam Gilchrist.
Most Wickets by a Spinner in a 3-Test Series
In 2000-01 home series against Australia will be remembered in Indian cricket history as Harbhajan Singh picked up 32 wickets in the series, which was the biggest haul by a spinner in a 3-Test series.
Mumbai Indians’ Most-Capped Cricketer
Harbhajan Singh has grown to become one of the mainstays of the Mumbai Indians line-up; with 147 caps against his name, the off-spinner is the Mumbai Indians’ most-capped player. He has taken a total of 147 wickets, which puts him second in the list of top wicket-takers for MI.
Indian Premier League:
In IPL 2008, he started his IPL career from Mumbai Indians. He was an integral part of MI until 2017. However, in 2019 IPL auction, Chennai Super Kings bagged him at a base price of Rs 2 crore.
Personal LifeOn 29 October 2015, Harbhajan Singh married his longtime girlfriend, Geeta Basra in Jalandhar. They have a daughter, Hinaya Heer Plaha, born in Portsmouth, Hampshire.
2017 Champions Trophy Exclusion
Harbhajan was excluded from the Indian squad for the 2017 Champions Trophy in England. After hearing of his exclusion, Harbhajan claimed he did not receive the same “privileges” other veteran cricketers, namely MS Dhoni, have been afforded by the national selectors. After the media swoop on his comment, Harbhajan claimed the media took his statement wrong.
Last he played in IPL 2019 with Chennai Super Kings and now he is doing commentary in World Cup 2019.