Veteran India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh recently appeared on India’s famous celebrity chat show ‘Aap KI Adalat’. Here are some interesting revelations he made during the show.
On Virat Kohli: "It's good to see the way Virat Kohli conducts himself. I feel this is the brilliant way forward for Indian cricket. Going to play with the right body language, fighting it out for India with a zeal to get the right result, we need such a spirit, which Virat Kohli has, whether its his own or he may have taken it from me, I feel it's a great sign for Indian cricket, to take India to difficult heights."
Clarifying on Monkeygate: "I didn't say monkey. It was their allegation. I only told him - 'teri maa ki...haath ki roti khaane ko bada dil kar raha hai' (smiling). He didn't listen at all. Anyway, he didn’t know Hindi, and I don't know English."
On taking on Aussie sledging: “The Australians felt as if they were the biggest superstars, nobody can beat them, they always looked to dominate. But we hailed from that generation which was never docile. More particularly, I come from Punjab, and Punjabis by nature always speak out their minds. Glenn McGrath sledged me a lot. He used to sledge after bowling each ball. He felt, who's this guy playing after I have dismissed top batsmen. Then I replied back to his sledging. He used to sledge once, I replied thrice, he sledged twice, I replied five times. A time came, when the Australians stopped sledging me.”
Calling Lehmann pregnant: “I was batting and (Darren) Lehmann was continuously sledging me. I also replied. He had a huge stomach, and his slack string used to hang out like Shakti Kapoor's. I was so much perturbed over his sledging that I pointed towards his abdomen and asked: 'Are you pregnant?' Lehmann told this to Shane Warne who burst out laughing. Warne asked me whether I said this. Well, players shouldn't have such huge stomachs."
Experience of playing against Pakistan: As a player, I feel great after defeating a big team. In those days the Pakistan team was great, it had players like Wasim Akram, Waqar Younus, Saqlain Mushtaq and Shoaib Akhtar. For us that used to be a special game, a special moment. I feel media creates too much hype for India-Pakistan matches."
On slapgate: "Actually, he did a 'nautanki' (drama). It was my fault that I did that I slapped Sreesanth on the ground. I have admitted in all my interviews that I committed this mistake in my life. I was guilty in the Sreesanth episode, and I am ashamed even today, but the way he wept, as if I slapped him very hard. But anyhow that was something obviously which everybody will remember that I made a mistake. I am again saying, I'm sorry.”
Lucky charm? “I never kept any handkerchief. Yes, but I once had a supporter. By supporter, I mean, underwear. It was a series, in which I took 32 wickets. The first day, I put on the supporter, my socks, shorts, and pads, and I took five wickets. I had a belief that this could be a good omen. I repeated the same, and got a haul of seven wickets. Ultimately, I repeated so often, that the supporter and socks had holes in them.”
--By A Cricket Correspondent