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Bhajji changes patka for better spell

The off-spinner donned a cream-coloured turban instead of black in second Test.

india Updated: Mar 12, 2006 16:09 IST

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh donned a cream-coloured 'patka' (turban) in the England innings of the second Test instead of the black he always wears, hoping the change will improve his performance.

The change was due to a superstition and in the hope of getting out of the poor spell, revealed a source close to the 25-year-old Punjab bowler.

Harbhajan bowled in his usual black patka on the first two truncated days of the match Thursday and Friday and then switched to the cream-coloured cloth on Saturday.

It was perhaps only the second time in his career that the spinner wore a patka other than black, and first time since the second Test against Pakistan at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata in 2005.

Harbhajan had gone wicketless for a long period of time before that Kolkata Test in which he claimed four victims.

"Someone in Kolkata told me that I should switch over to a cream-coloured patka, and I got two wickets after changing it," Harbhajan is said to have told one of his friends.

In the first innings of that Test Harbhajan returned figures of 30-6-94-2 and in the second 30.3-16-51-2.

In the ongoing Mohali Test, Harbhajan was given only 12 overs in the England first innings as Anil Kumble took five wickets to cross the 500-mark.

Harbhajan, on the other hand, failed to take a single wicket and ended with figures of 12-0-31-0.

The spinner has been struggling for wickets since scalping 10 batsmen to spin India to victory in the third Test against Sri Lanka in Ahmedabad in December.

Since then, Harbhajan has taken a total of two wickets in 157 overs in six innings at a heavy cost of 279.50 runs up till the first innings of the Mohali Test.

Unless Harbhajan returns to form in the second innings, his place in the XI looks threatened for the third Test starting in Mumbai March 18.

First Published: Mar 12, 2006 14:45 IST