Former Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh revealed a piece of advice he received from the former skipper, MS Dhoni, during India’s semifinal against Pakistan in the 2011 ODI World Cup.
Kamran Akmal was going strong at one end during Pakistan’s run chase of 261. He had raced away to 28 off just 24 balls before it was time for a drinks break. Harbhajan was then brought back into the attack with a little bit of advice from Dhoni.
“It was one of those games where I felt I was getting a bit numb. I had bowled five overs, conceded around 26-27 runs. It was a water break, and Dhoni told me, ‘Bhajju pa, aap vahan se daaloge’ (around the wicket).”
“Kamran was playing good, so was Misbah. And they were scoring runs and the partnership was getting dangerous,” said Harbhajan as he recalled the moment on Star Sports’ Dil se India.
“He completely missed the ball” – Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan then came around the wicket and bowled a straight one which Akmal completely missed. The ball crashed into the stumps, bringing India back into the game.
“So I came to bowl, I remembered god. I just prayed for a win. And god did listen to me. On the very first ball, I got the wicket of Kamran Akmal as I bowled around the wicket. He completely missed the ball,” he added.
After Akmal fell, the middle order crumbled with the likes of Abdul Razzaq (3) and Shahid Afridi (19) falling quickly. Misbah ul Haq was left to fight a lone battle but he couldn’t do it all, as Pakistan was eventually bundled out for 231.
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