Bhajji's anger - a cause for concern?
The tweaker, nicknamed 'The Turbanator', has often landed in soup for being a bit a too aggressive for his own good on several occassions.cricket Updated: Apr 26, 2008 16:24 IST
On-field altercations are not new for Harbhajan Singh who finds himself in yet another controversy.
In fact, the fiery spinner is infamous for losing his cool so easily and so often that his latest brush with controversy for allegedly slapping teammate S Sreesanth bears yet another testimony to his bad temper, which boils over at the slightest provocation.
The tweaker, nicknamed 'The Turbanator', has often landed in soup for being a bit a too aggressive for his own good on several occassions.
As he prepares to answer a BCCI show cause notice for allegedly slapping Sreesanth after losing an Indian Premier League (IPL) match, Harbhajan's disciplinary record suggests that the off-spinner's anger is getting a bit out of hand.
By his own admission, Harbhajan is not someone who would let only his bowling do the talking when it comes to dealing with oppositions and has time and again taken on rival players in verbal spats.
The first of these instances happened during the offie's maiden international ODI series and the man at the other end happened to be current Australian skipper Ricky Ponting.
The Indian had a heated exchange with Ponting, who is not known to sit back and listen either, after dismissing him and was slapped with a hefty fine and a reprimand.
He was subsequently dropped from the team for non-performance and adding to his woes was a "suspect" bowling action that was famously described by the legendary Bishan Singh Bedi as being similar to that of a "javeline thrower".
After nearly two years in exile, Harbhajan got a chance to restart his career after being selected for Bangalore's prestigious National Cricket Academy in mid-2000 but "indiscipline" proved to be his bane yet again.
He was expelled from the academy and later admitted that he had been at fault.
The 2001 Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test series against Australia marked a turnaround for Harbhajan as he led India to one of the most memorable triumphs in history with his magical spells in Kolkata and Chennai but all this while, trouble kept brewing between him and the Aussies which culminated into the despicable fracas this year.
In between, the 27-year-old spinner did no good to his reputation by having an altercation with police officials before a match in Guwahati. He was left with cuts on his bowling arm after exchanging blows with the cops on a minor issue of allowing a photographer into the team hotel.
In 2005, he landed in hot waters yet again when he described the then coach Greg Chappell as someone who used "double standards" and istilled "fear and insecurity in the team".
He was served a show cause notice by the BCCI and had to apologise for his outburst.
Although he has remained a regular to the match referee's office ever since his debut, this year's racial row with Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds was perhaps the biggest blot on his chequered career.
Symonds accused Harbhajan of racially abusing him during the infamous Sydney Test but an ICC investigation conducted after the BCCI threatened to pullout from the tour found him not guilty.
The Australian team did not take too kindly to the verdict and opener Matthew Hayden even went on to describe Harbhajan an "obnoxious little weed", a comment for which he later apologised.
The whole nation rallied behind Harbbhajan during the furore and the same man now finds himself at the centre of yet another ugly episode but this time against a teammate.