Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh has revealed an incident when the legendary Shane Warne misunderstand his actions. Warne unfortunately passed away earlier this month at the age of 52 but during his career, he inspired a generation of youngsters to take up cricket and spin bowling in particular. One of them was Harbhajan, who realized his dream of playing against his childhood hero during the iconic 2001 Test series between India and Australia. (Also Read: ‘Picking him gives CSK option to play this mystery spinner’: Irfan backs India’s 36-year-old star as Faf’s replacement)
Harbhajan had dismissed Warne for this hat-trick in the famous Eden Gardens Test to become the first Indian Test cricketer to pick up three wickets in three balls. As India leveled the series with a 212-run win in Kolkata and the action moved to the decider in Chennai, Harbhajan and Warne came face to face, although in a different way.
“Let me tell you a story which I’ve specially mentioned in my book which is in the process of getting ready. I had met him briefly in the series when I took 32 wickets against Australia in 2001. In the third Test match in Chennai , he was batting with Steve Waugh and was at the non-striker’s end. I was just admiring him while standing at my run-up. And while I was just admiring him and looking at him, he saw me and asked ‘mate, what’s wrong with you? What are you looking at?’ He actually thought that I’m trying to say or do something,” Harbhajan told Brett Lee of the Australia pacer’s podcast.
Harbhajan then pointed out how he made sure to clear the air before things got out of hand. The former India spinner explained to Warne that it was a fanboy moment for him and that there was nothing but admiration and respect from his end.
“So I walked up to him and said ‘look mate, I’m just admiring my hero who is next to me and this was a dream to see you playing live. And I am playing with you so this is a great moment for me I just wanted to have that moment that I was playing with Shane Warne. He said, ‘thanks mate’ and from that time onwards, we had that bonding. After taking those 32 wickets, he came and congratulated me later and I was just moved when he came and wished me. He said ‘well done mate. You have a long way to go’,” mentioned Harbhajan.
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