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Happy Birthday Harbhajan Singh: First Indian to take a Test hat-trick

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Guwahati: Harbhajan Singh turns a year older today and is celebrating his 41st birthday today. The veteran India spinner had made his international cricket debut in 1998 and remained a regular member of the side till 2011. A two-time World Cup winner, Harbhajan formed a successful partnership with Anil Kumble across two formats and was also preferred over the former India captain on certain occasions in ODIs.

A veteran of 103 Tests and 236 ODIs, Harbhajan has 417 wickets in the longest format. He has 269 scalps in 50-over cricket. The off-spinner is also a four-time IPL winner and has also captained Mumbai Indians to a title win in the Champions League in 2011.

Harbhajan’s became an irregular member of the side in 2011. He made several comebacks in the national team after 2011 but was never a permanent member of the side.

Harbhajan, who last represented Team India in 2016, hasn’t retired from international cricket. As Harbhajan celebrates his 41st birthday, here’s a look at 3 great records held by the veteran off-spinner –

First Indian to take a Test hat-trick

The India-Australia 2001 Test series turned out to be a historic one. VVS Laxman’s 281 in the Kolkata Test match often hogs all the limelight and Harbhajan’s contributions are always mentioned next to his (Laxman). Harbhajan created history in the three-match series and owned some memorable records.

During the  Kolkata Test, Harbhajan became the first-ever Indian bowler to take a Test hat-trick. He dismissed Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne to create history. He finished the series with 32 scalps, most by an Indian in a three-match series. He is still the proud owner of the record.

First Indian off-spinner to scalp 400 Test wickets

Back in 2011, Harbhajan became the first Indian off-spinner to complete 400 wickets in Test cricket. His record came against West Indies. He was still a permanent member of the side back then and was tipped to break Kumble’s record of 619 wickets. However, he lost his place to R Ashwin, who made his Test debut in November 2011.

Harbhajan only played 7 more Tests in the next 4 years and added 17 wickets in his kitty. R Ashwin, who has scalped 413 wickets in 79 Tests, became the second offie to join Harbhajan on the list. He will pip Harbhajan on the list of highest wicket-takers soon.

Most maidens in T20Is

Harbhajan managed to make it to the 2012 T20 World Cup squad, played in Sri Lanka, and created history in the league stage game against England, where India rested Ashwin. The office became the first Indian bowler to deliver 2 maiden overs in T20Is.

Harbhajan bowled a spell of 4-0-12-4 as India bundled England out for 80. 4 years later, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah also bowled 2 maiden overs in T20I matches to join the spinner on the list.

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