Former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh revealed an untold story involving Mahendra Singh Dhoni from the ICC World Cup 2011. The Indian team won the World Cup that year under the leadership of the wicket-keeper batter. They defeated Sri Lanka in the finals by six wickets chasing 275 runs at the Wankhede Stadium to lift the trophy.
India was in Group B and finished second on the points table with four wins from six matches, including a tie match. They faced Pakistan, the Group A table-toppers in the semi-finals. Harbhajan Singh narrated an interesting incident from the match against the arch-rivals. The off-spinner took two wickets in the match at an economy rate of 4.30 in 10 overs.
Speaking on Star Sports’ Dil se India, Harbhajan Singh recalled having a chat with MS Dhoni after the end of the 33rd over during the drinks break. He revealed that the Indian skipper advised him to bowl around the wicket to Umran Akmal. The Pakistan batter was on 29 runs at the drinks break and was looking to play a big inning.
“It was one of those games where I felt I was getting a bit numb. I had bowled five overs and 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, and so was Misbah. And they were scoring runs and the partnership was getting dangerous.”, said Harbhajan Singh.
So I came to bowl, and I remembered god. I just prayed for a win: Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh bowled the 34th over and struck the first ball. He rattled Umran Akmal’s stumps following MS Dhoni’s advice. The spinner bowled an arm ball, which Umran tentatively, tried to play through the line. However, the ball nipped past and castled his stumps. This opened the floodgates for India, who eventually won the match by 29 runs.
“So I came to bowl, and 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.”, said Harbhajan Singh.