Legendary Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist has named Harbhajan Singh as one of the toughest bowlers he has batted against in his career and labelled him as ‘a nemesis’.
“He (Harbhajan) was a bit of a nemesis for me right through my career. I found him and Murali probably the two hardest bowlers to face,” Gilchrist said.
Speaking to the cricket.com.au, Gilchrist remembered the 2001 Test series where he had scored a century in the first Test in Mumbai but failed to leave a mark in the others as Harbhajan kept on dismissing him throughout the next part of the series.
“We were five for 99, I went in there, got a hundred off 80 balls, we won in the three days and I just thought, ‘What have these blokes been doing for 30 years. How easy’s this? And how wrong I was. We’ve only got to fast forward to the next Test match and I came back to reality.
The former Australia captain also revealed that the 2001 series had forced the Australian team to bring in some changes in their strategies.
“As it would turn out, by the end of that series we probably needed to learn how to put a handbrake on just to get a holding pattern, rather than ‘attack, attack, attack’ because it doesn’t always work – Harbhajan bamboozled us,” he added.
The 47-year-old further talked about his experience when he had led Australia, in the absence of regular captain Ricky Ponting, to a famous series victory in India in 2004.
It was their first series victory in the country in 35 years in which Gilchrist captained the team in the first two Tests. Australia won two of them. Ricky Ponting took the reins in the fourth Test which was won by India.
“I was scared. I started to panic. I was already panicking about going back after my come-back-down-to-earth experience at the back-end of that 2001 tour,” Gilchrist was quoted as saying.
“As it turned out, it was an absolute blessing in disguise for me. It allowed me not to worry about my game and myself. I prepared, but my mind was busy working on strategy and tactics and getting the tour plan set and implemented,” he added.