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Friday, July 01, 2022

On This Day in 2001, Harbhajan Singh became first Indian to claim Test hat-trick

Twenty one years ago on this day, former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh claimed a memorable hat-trick against Australia and went into the record books.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: March 11, 2022 3:53:00 pm
Harbhajan Singh, Eden Gardens, Harbhajan Singh Hat-trick, India vs AustraliaA young Harbhajan Singh celebrates after taking the hat-trick against Australia in the second Test Test match at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata in 2001-02 series. (BCCI)

In the 2001 series against Australia, Anil Kumble’s injury furnished Harbhajan Singh a rare break. He grabbed it with both hands taking 32 wickets, including a hat-trick in the series as India halted Australia’s 16-match winning streak to win the series 2-1.

It was just the start of a fruitful career that saw him claim 417 Test wickets, and 269 ODI wickets, besides winning the T20I as well as the 2011 World Cups.

The series turned out to be a career-changing one for the Jalandhar born spinner. In the second Test at Eden Gardens, the Turbanator bagged a hat-trick, a first Indian to achieve the rare feat.

Australia, who had won the first Test match by 10 wickets, at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, were in a dominant position on Day 1 of the Kolkata Test at 252/4. Harbhajan got Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne off successive deliveries in the 72nd over to have them pegged back at 252/7.

Harbhajan ended up with 13 wickets in the match and Indian won the Test by 171 runs after Australia enforced the follow on.

Australia scored 445 in the first innings, courtesy of a century from captain Steve Waugh (10) and his gritty 133-run stand with Jason Gillespie (46). In reply, India got bundled out for a paltry 171 and were staring at a heavy defeat.

In their second essay, VVS Laxman (281) and Rahul Dravid (180) stitch together a 376-run partnership, with India declaring at 657 for 7.

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Harbhajan Singh (6/73) and Sachin Tendulkar (3/31) spun a wave in Australia’s second innings as the Australian got bundled out for 212, and India registered a stunning 171 run win.

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