‘I was rushing through deliveries’: Harbhajan Singh recalls when Pakistan’s Misbah smashed him for three sixes in 2007 T20I final
The 2007 T20I final between India and Pakistan turned out to be an epic thriller. The memorable contest between the two teams in the inaugural T20I World Cup saw various twists and turns, but eventually, the MS Dhoni-led side emerged victorious after Pakistan batsman Misbah-ul-Haq scooped a delivery in the final over to Sreesanth at short fine-leg. India won the contest by 5 runs and lifted the T20I World Cup trophy. But, there was a stage in the match when it was all going Pakistan’s way.
Speaking in an interview to ESPNCricinfo’s The Cricket Monthly, Harbhajan Singh recalled the over in which Misbah smashed him for three sixes. It was the 17th over of the game, and after Harbhajan was struck for 19 runs, the momentum shifted in Pakistan’s favour.
Talking about his career, Harbhajan said that there were a few games in which he felt anxious and added the T20I final against Pakistan was one such match. “Because after I was hit for a six, the pressure kept increasing. Rather than thinking what to do next, I was rushing through my deliveries. I wanted to just finish that over and feel, Chalo, ho gaya mera [I’ve finished my job],” the right-arm bowler said.
“Take that over where Misbah [-ul-Haq] went after me. Okay, anybody can be hit for a six or two sixes or three sixes, but was my process correct? Many times we [bowlers] are ourselves so scared about being hit, we send the batsman the message that we are on the back foot,” the veteran spinner added.
He further explained his strategies against Misbah in that over. “So against Misbah I just wanted to bowl the quicker delivery and the yorker. Because in the the semi-final, against Australia, I bowled six yorkers and it worked. Maybe there I was taking a bit longer, I was more focused, more composed, and able to stick to my plan,” he added.
Harbhajan further explained what went wrong with his strategy. “Against Pakistan, maybe I was rushing. I was not soaking up the pressure. When you are in a rush, you are not settled. Your feet are not working properly.
“Or your hands do not coordinate smoothly in your bowling action. Your front hand falls down quickly, or your bowling hand comes late, sometimes the ball does not spin, and what you want does not happen,” the 39-year-old said.