Former Australia wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist has accepted that Harbhajan Singh had supremacy over him and he never found life easy when the Indian off-spinner was asked to bowl against him. The former Aussie cricketer spoke about the 2001 Test series in India where Australia’s 16 Test matches winning was ended. The visitors won the first Test in Mumbai and Gilchrist scored a sublime hundred in that game.
“We were five for 99, I went in there, got a hundred off 80 balls, we won in three days and I just thought, ‘What have these blokes been doing for 30 years. How easy’s this? And how wrong I was. We’ve only got to fast forward to the next Test match and I came back to reality,” said Gilchrist.
However, India turned the table in the next two matches.
“As it would turn out, by the end of that series we probably needed to learn how to put a handbrake on just to get a holding pattern, rather than ‘attack, attack, attack’ because it doesn’t always work – Harbhajan bamboozled us. He was a bit of a nemesis for me right throughout my career. I found him and Murali probably the two hardest bowlers to face,” he added.
The 47-year-old further added that they changed their approach after humiliating defeat in India.
“We changed our tactics a great deal. In 2001 what we learnt was we can’t just attack our way out of every situation,” said Gilchrist.
“We had to learn to swallow our ego and go defensive, and that was very much part of the whole collective mindset of the group; (for example) the bowlers had to take a step back and run in with the new ball with one slip and a sweeper on the leg side,” he added.