'Bhajju pa, aap vahan se daaloge' - Harbhajan Singh recalls MS Dhoni's instructions in 2011 WC clash against Pakistan

India defeated arch-rivals Pakistan in Mohali en route to the final of the 2011 World Cup.

Harbhajan Singh and MS Dhoni
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Harbhajan Singh and MS Dhoni. (Photo Source: INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images)

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India reclaimed the title of World Champions in 2011 after a hiatus of 28 years under the mercurial leadership of MS Dhoni. India’s historic triumph came in front of a jam-packed home crowd at the Wankhede Stadium against neighbour Sri Lanka. But it is the clash against eternal rivals Pakistan in the semi-finals, which has often been revisited, and most recently by former Indian spin ace Harbhajan Singh, who revealed a curious tale from the epic clash. 

India’s memorable World Cup campaign was a fitting farewell to batting legend Sachin Tendulkar, who appeared in his sixth and last tournament, a record that he shares with former Pakistan legend Javed Miandad in men’s cricket. The home side finished with 260 runs on the board in their 50 overs on the back of a magnificent knock of 85 runs by the master blaster. 

Pakistan, in their chase, wobbled after a brisk start and were tottering at 106/4 as the experienced Misbah-ul-Haq started consolidating along with an exuberant Umar Akmal. The pair had stitched a 36-run stand for the fifth wicket and were looking dangerous, especially Akmal, who was teeing off against the Indian bowlers. 

Dhoni’s inspiring advice to Harbhajan Singh turned the course of the match in India’s favour

Indian offie Harbhajan Singh has revealed an untold story involving MS Dhoni in his latest interview. He stated that he had a chat with skipper Dhoni during the drinks break after the end of the 33rd over. The Indian captain advised the veteran bowler to bowl around the wicket to the menacing Umar Akmal, and with the first ball, after the drinks break, Harbhajan castled the batter, following his leader’s instructions. That wicket opened the floodgates for India as they became comfortable victors at the end.

“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. 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 as he recalled the moment on Star Sports’ Dil se India.