Bhajji, the slayer, flays the Kiwis: Can Dhoni’s luck hold?

Harbhajan Singh at Adelaide Oval

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Harbhajan Singh’s second century at No. 8 in as many innings reads like a fairy tale. He is now the highest run aggregator in the India – New Zealand Test series at home.

Harbhajan ended up with 111 not out; he added 105 for the tenth wicket with Sreesanth. Incredibly, that is just the third-highest last wicket partnership for India.

For a bowler, who has not yet crossed 2,000 Test runs , this is not bad — not bad at all! Has India rediscovered the all-rounder its been seeking?

Is Harbhajan Singh the answer to Dhoni’s prayers? The Indian skipper has harped on how India miss a quality all-rounder specially with the World Cup coming up. Bhajji could well deliver the goods on flat Indian pitches.

India’s 1983 victory was possible because the team had a generous quota of men with all-round abilities — Kirti Azad, Roger Binny, Kapil Dev , Madan Lal and Mohinder Amarnath.

The five could chip in with the bat and the ball. India has since lacked real all-rounders in the past decade and a half.

Irfan Pathan and Ajit Agarkar promised much but couldn’t deliver. Agarkar remained a very good bowler and Pathan’s batting abilities improved at the expense of his bowling.

Manoj Prabhakar remains the last genuine all-rounder to have donned the India colours — in all formats of the game.

Dhoni is fortunate that the Indian team continues their golden run under his stewardship. Doubts about his Test batting form linger but for now the question marks are swept under the carpet.

Will his luck hold?

Quote of the day:
I don’t have a photograph, but you can have my footprints. They’re upstairs in my socks. – Groucho Marx