When India hosted Australia in 2001, they were without their primary weapon Anil Kumble.
But Kumble missing out with an injured shoulder proved to be a boon for a relatively unknown Harbhajan Singh.
Just 20 years of age, he was yet to cement his place in the team and had played just 8 Tests in 3 years.
All that was about to change.
What followed in that series was a web of spin that had the Aussies clueless as to whether they should leave, play, attack or defend the ball.
The Turbanator – a name he won after this series, ran through the side in the 2nd and 3rd Tests as India overturned a 1-0 deficit to win 2-1. This ended Australia’s 16-Test winning streak.
Harbhajan created history in Kolkata when he became the first Indian to take a Test hat-trick. He would take 13 wickets in that match. But it was only a precursor of things to come.
In Chennai the youngster picked up where had left off and finished off with 15 in the match. It gave him the tally of 32 wickets in 3 Tests during the series. What a haul!
Amazingly 28 of his 32 victims came in the 2nd and 3rd Test.
He deservedly won the Man of the Series award and for the next decade became a match-winner for Team India. Even though he has had many great performances since then, the 2001 series is one no Indian cricket fan has forgotten.
For that matter, Australia won’t forget it in a hurry either.
News credit : Indiatimes