Harbhajan Singh was no doubt the star of Sunday night as his 18-ball 49 not out helped the Mumbai Indians stage a remarkable comeback against the Deccan Chargers and maintain their top spot on the table.
However, more than his power hitting and good bowling, Harbhajan remained in the news on Monday for the wrong reasons. He was fined $15,000 (Rs 6,90,000 approx) for his outburst at T. Suman after dismissing the batsman.
Harbhajan, who was adjudged man of the match for his all-round performance, however, had downplayed the Suman incident after the match. “That’s the way I play. I am very passionate about my cricket. Some people do drama and some fake things after picking a wicket. I do whatever I feel. Whatever emotions I have at that time come out,” he said at the post-match media briefing. “I don’t even know what I did. It’s pretty normal for me.”
TA Sekar, the Mumbai Indians Director of Cricket, however, did not read too much into the episode. “It just happened in the heat of the moment. We shouldn’t make a big issue out of it,” Sekar said on Monday.
In the past, Harbhajan has been in the news for all the wrong reasons for his involvement in the monkey-gate (with Andrew Symonds) and slap-gate (S. Sreesanth) controversies. And after a face-off with Symonds’ IPL teammate, Harbhajan will square up against Sreesanth’s team on Tuesday.
When the player was asked about sledging ahead of the Mumbai Indians’ tie against the Deccan Chargers, he had said, “Yaar, maine toh chhod diya (I have stopped it, mate).” Let’s hope Harbhajan keeps reminding himself what he said on Saturday, especially at a time when he is doing all the right talking with the ball and the willow.