Harbhajan Singh Plaha is an Indian international cricketer who plays for the Indian national team. He is a right arm spin bowler and a tail end batsman. He is specialist bowler who has third-highest number of Test wickets by an off spinner and the highest among Indians. He will be seen active at the IPL 5 season 2012 very soon.
During the 1997-98 Ranji Trophy, Harbhajan made his first class debut for Punjab cricket team. In the 6 matches he played he could take 18 wickets at an average of 22.50 and ranked outside the top 20 in taking wickets. In spite of the fact that other bowlers had better statistics than Harbhajan in domestic cricket Harbhajan was given an opportunity of a Test debut in Bangalore in the third Test against Australia where he took 2 wickets for 136 runs which was a modest match performance.
In 1999-2000 Harbhajan toured Australia as a substitute for Anil Kumble but was unable to play in that series. In March 2001 in the home series against the visiting Australians Kumble was injured and Harbhajan was selected to lead the Indian spin attack although his previous best Test statistics were 3 for 30. In the first Test in Mumbai Harbhajan bowled well and had a spell of 3 for 8 due to which the Aussie score read 99 for 5 responding to the first innings Indian total of 176. However, Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden put up a 197 run partnership in only 32 overs during which Harbhajan bowled 17 overs and gave away 103 runs to end up with figures of 4 for 121.
As Harbhajan was successful in Test matches he was recalled for the One day International team after a hiatus of more than 2 years. In 2001-02 he played his first home match in Mohali, Punjab where Harbhajan took 7 wickets for 110 runs helping India to win the first Test by ten wickets against the England team.
During the 2007 One day International series against Sri Lanka and West Indies in India Harbhajan played in 7 matches and took 7 wickets at 35.67. Despite criticism that he was afraid to toss the ball up, and was concentrating on bowling flat in a defensive run-saving style, Harbhajan was selected as the off spin bowler in the Indian squad for the 2007 Cricket World Cup. He was once again not successful in taking wickets.
In 2008 Harbhajan was a part of the Indian Premier League (IPL) where he played for the Kings XI Punjab. He was soon ruled out of the team by the BCCI for undisciplined behavior with his own team-mate Sreesanth.
3 Man of the Series award in Test cricket.
3 Man of the Match awards in ODI cricket.