20 yrs since ‘Turbanator’ spun a web around Aussies


March 11 is landmark day in Indian cricket history, as it was on this day back in 2001 that off-spinner Harbhajan Singh became the first Indian bowler to take a hat-trick in Test cricket in the iconic series against Australia.

Exactly 20 years ago, Harbhajan pulled off the feat during the second Test of the three-match series at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens, making history.

Harbhajan, 40, posted a throwback photo from the match on Twitter and captioned it: “Moment which changed my life #Hattrick #Grateful @BCCI”.

Harbhajan, who was just 20 back then, took the wickets of Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne in three balls in Australia’s first innings to put the skids on their charge.

From 252 for four, the visitors crumbled to 252 for seven in the space of three balls on a batting surface.

India staged a remarkable comeback after losing the first Test and won the last two matches to take the series 2-1.

“It was a very special moment in my life. That hat-trick gave me a lot of recognition, lot of belief that I could do it (at the highest level against a top team). I felt like, if I can do it against these guys, the best guys then I can do it against any other team. It is something which is very, very important to me as I said because it gave me the recognition and people suddenly started to rely on me. They felt, ‘yeah this guy can do it’. The hat-trick and the series was a turning point in my life,” Harbhajan had told IANS during India’s recent tour of Australia.