Harbhajan Singh recalls MS Dhoni’s crucial suggestion from 2011 World Cup semi-final

India took on Pakistan in the 2011 World Cup semi-final.

Harbhajan Singh | GettyThe 2011 World Cup is etched in the hearts and minds of a billion Indians as it ended with the Men in Blue lifting the coveted title after 28 years.

India clashed with their arch-rivals Pakistan in the semi-final of the tournament in Mohali after thrashing Australia in the quarter-final.

The hosts compiled a competitive total of 260/9 in the first inning thanks to Sachin Tendulkar's heroics with the bat (85 off 115 balls) and Suresh Raina's (36 off 39 balls) crucial knock in the slog overs.

In reply, Pakistan lost a couple of wickets early before Misbah-ul-Haq began stitching a partnership with Umran Akmal that was slowly taking the match away from India.

It was then India captain MS Dhoni came up with a suggestion for off-spinner Harbhajan Singh.

Harbhajan recently revealed that Dhoni suggested him to come around the wicket – a tactic that culminated with the off-spinner dismissing Akmal on the very first ball of his next over.

“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 (Umar) 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' show ‘Dil se India’.

“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 (Umar) Akmal as I bowled around the wicket. He completely missed the ball,” he said further.

Following Akmal's dismissal, the Men in Green kept losing wickets, and although Mishabh fought valiantly for his 56, it wasn’t enough as Pakistan was bundled out for 231.



By Salman Anjum - 15 Aug, 2022

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