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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014
Firebrand to humble man
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Chennai, February 22, 2013
First Published: 00:28 IST(22/2/2013)
Last Updated: 01:55 IST(22/2/2013)

Hundred Tests and 400 plus wickets, these numbers alone assure Harbhajan's place among Indian cricket's pantheon. On the eve of his 100th Test appearance, against his favourite team, Bhajji was in a reflective mood, looking back at the highs and lows as well as the rough ride in the last two seasons.

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Starry-Eyed
"I remember playing my first game in Bangalore under Azharuddin's captaincy. I had no clue what was going to happen; I was like a kid in the park. I was playing with Tendulkar, Srinath, Kumble, they were my heroes. I would like to thank the Almighty for this opportunity. I thank everyone who supported me, stood by me. I'm just going to enjoy this match tomorrow. Hopefully I'll do well."

Highlight
"That kind of a series (against Australia in 2001) happens once in a lifetime, when everything clicks. (But) that was a long way back. I can't keep on thinking about that achievement again and again hoping that I'll repeat it. I'll put in more effort than I did then, and hope that the results come. Whether it's 32 wickets (which he took in the three-Test series in 2001) or 23 wickets, I'll look to bowl well,  and the results will follow."

Philosophic
"It's been a journey with lots of ups and downs. No one can always be at the top. I've learnt from seniors never to give up. Playing for India is a big motivation. When you're not playing that's what motivates you, to work hard and get there. I wanted to come back and do well for the team. I was trying to stick to this - work hard, have faith in God and you'll get the opportunities."

Combustible
"I've mellowed. With time you learn a few things. I've made a few mistakes in my career due to too much aggression. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. I'm looking forward to being a better person. You can play this game for 15 years, but what sort of person you are, that's what matters in the end. Everyone wants to be a better person than yesterday. And I'm trying to be one."


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