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“Bhajju pa, aap vahan se daaloge”: When MS Dhoni’s decision helped Harbhajan Singh with a crucial breakthrough during IND vs PAK 2011 World Cup match

Gurpreet Singh
|Sun Aug 14 2022


MS Dhoni’s decision helped Harbhajan Singh break an important partnership during India’s clash versus Pakistan in 2011 World Cup semis.

The excitement amongst the Indian and Pakistani Cricket fans is unsurprisingly apparent as the two Asian arch-rivals are bound to face each other during the Asia Cup 2022, set to commence from August 27.

A slight tweak in the scheduling of matches, which has made way for a maximum of three clashes between the two teams (provided they reach the final), has added yet another exotic flavour to the lip-smacking contest.

With the tournament’s commencement just a couple of weeks shy, the build-up continues to be hyped-up. While India continue to boast of their successful record against Pakistan in ICC tournaments, Pakistan’s 10-wicket victory versus India during the 2021 T20 World Cup last year, was a bitter pill to swallow for them as well.

With former cricketers from both the countries revisiting some of the memorable moments of an India-Pakistan clash, former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh managed to recollect an interesting anecdote involving former India skipper MS Dhoni and team Pakistan during the 2011 World Cup semi-final.

MS Dhoni’s decision helped Harbhajan Singh get rid of Umar Akmal

While Cricket fans across the globe are no strangers to the calculated risks and tactical brilliance put on show by MS Dhoni while on the field as the skipper, Harbhajan recollected a crucial decision taken by his skipper during the high-octance clash versus Pakistan during the 2011 World Cup semi-final.

As per the former off-spinner, who was having an ordinary day with the ball after bowling half of his Overs of the quota, Dhoni’s decision to ask him to bowl from around the wicket helped him and the team get rid of the dangerous looking Umar Akmal, who was stitching a crucial partnership alongside Misbah-ul-Haq en route the chase of 261 runs.

“It was one of those games where I felt I was getting a bit numb. I had bowled five overs, 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, so was Misbah. And they were scoring runs and the partnership was getting dangerous,” said Harbhajan as he recalled the moment on Star Sports’ Dil se India show ahead of India’s 75th Independence day.

India eventually won the match by 29 runs, and progressed through to the grand finale clash versus Sri Lanka.


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