Congratulations Harbhajan! There are few feats bigger than playing 100 Tests for the country. It takes a lot of hard work, consistency and determination to scale this peak, and Harbhajan hasn't been found wanting on any count. So hats off to him, he richly deserves this.
It's not just me
who would be overjoyed to see him crossing what is considered a mark of greatness in the sport. Everyone who has played with him and knows him would be happy for him, for he has been a great team man and fun to be with all these years.
No matter what the situation is, the dressing room is always more alive when he's around. With his pranks, jokes and imitation - he's a great imitator and can imitate anyone in the team - there's hardly a dull moment in the dressing room, and even on the field. Once in Sri Lanka, almost a decade ago, he talked me into wearing some weird masks at night and both of us scared the hell out of the rest of our team-mates. That's him, he always has something funny and exciting up his sleeves.
His desire to see India win – with or without him – is remarkable. Even when he's not in the playing XI, he's the first to celebrate the team's win and individual feats. In 2007, when India achieved the famous Perth Test victory that he had to miss, how he rushed out to the middle waving the Tricolour is still vivid in my mind. Moments like these bring out the character of an individual and show how he's always ready to be there for the team.
His casual approach and ability to take everyone along makes him a popular figure among the younger members of the team too. He never behaves like a senior even with a rookie, and that explains why everyone wants him to be around.
The last year or so hasn't been easy on him. Yet, he has been his confident self, doing everything, including going to NCA and playing in the domestic circuit, to get back into the side.
While many might have written him off, he is a fighter, never gives up and has proved it yet again with this comeback.
I feel there are good five to six years left in him to play top flight cricket. And I have a strong hunch these are going to be his best years. While he has already left an indelible mark on the sport, I want him to stay hungry, go past Anil Kumble's record and become a legend in Indian cricket.
And knowing Harbhajan, this isn't asking for too much.
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