Harbhajan Singh picks his all-time best Test XI with three Indians
Harbhajan Singh went on to pick Australia’s Ricky Ponting as the skipper of his side.
Updated - Mar 6, 2020 12:44 pm
Out-of-favour off-spinner Harbhajan Singh is currently not part of the national team set up due to stiff competition in the Indian team. However, to keep himself engaged in the sport, he plays domestic cricket. The Chennai Super Kings player will soon return to action in the thirteenth edition of the Indian Premier League as he will be licking his lips to play against his former franchise, Mumbai Indians at Wankhede Stadium, March 29, Sunday.
Harbhajan Singh, who is one of the best spinners in Test cricket has picked 417 wickets in 103 Tests. He hit his peak performance when he bagged a hat-trick against the highly-rated Australian team during the historic 2001 series. In fact, he played a significant role in India’s emergence in Test cricket in the 2000s.
The right-arm off-break bowler has played against many wonderful cricketers during his heydays. Moreover, he has shared the dressing room with many Indian greats. The Turbanator’s last international appearance came against the United Arab Emirates at Dhaka in 2016 and since then he was overlooked by the selectors due to obvious reasons.
The off-spinner who made his Test debut against Australia in the year 1998 has picked the best Test playing XI. Harbhajan Singh whose last Test appearance came against Sri Lanka in 2015 has picked four Australians, three Indians, two South Africans, one from Sri Lanka and Pakistan in his playing XI.
Harbhajan Singh picks his best Test XI:
In an exclusive interview with ESPNCricinfo, Harbhajan Singh named the eleven best Test players. As far as the opening slot is concerned, Harbhajan picked the explosive Virender Sehwag and ferocious Matthew Hayden. Coming to number three, he went for the dependable Rahul Dravid and also explained why he chose the legendary batsman at the coveted No.3 slot.
“He is the most dependable batsman that I’ve ever played against or bowled to. In any conditions, whether you talk about playing fast bowling, seam bowling or spin, he had the technique to cope with it,” Harbhajan added. At number four and five, Harbhajan named legendary Sachin Tendulkar and legendary all-rounder Jacques Kallis. Harbhajan Singh went on to pick Australia’s Ricky Ponting as the skipper of his side.
Harbhajan said Virat Kohli, Brian Lara or Kevin Pietersen were pretty close for this spot but the off-spinner went for Ricky Ponting. He further added that if he had picked Virat Kohli in his side, then Shane Warne would be his skipper. “Virat Kohli, Brian Lara and maybe Kevin Pietersen were close for this spot” but he went for Ponting.
Coming to the wicketkeeper’s role, Harbhajan Singh picked all-time Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakkara, saying, “Obviously Adam Gilchrist was a great player but Sangakkara’s record speaks for itself. He averaged 57 in Tests and it would have been a lot more had he not also been a wicketkeeper in the first part of his career.”
Harbhajan picked Shaun Pollock, Wasim Akram and Glenn McGrath as the best pacers while Australia’s spin wizard Shane Warne was the only spinner in his playing XI.
Harbhajan Singh’s all-time best Test playing XI:
Virender Sehwag, Matthew Hayden, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Jacques Kallis, Ricky Ponting (C), Kumar Sangakkara (WK), Shaun Pollock, Shane Warne, Wasim Akram, Glenn McGrath