Harbhajan Singh tests positive for COVID-19; requests contacts to get tested
Harbhajan Singh announced retirement from cricket in December 2021
The off-spinner has mild symptoms and he is taking all the necessary precautions
Harbhajan Singh took 427 wickets in Test cricket
Former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh tested positive for COVID-19. The cricketer took to micro-blogging site Twitter on Friday to reveal that he contracted the virus. Harbhajan is currently in Oman playing Legends League Cricket in Muscat.
Harbhajan, who announced retirement from all forms of cricket last month, said that he had mild symptoms, and now as he tested positive he has quarantined himself at home and is “taking precautions”.
"I've tested positive for COVID with mild symptoms. I have quarantined myself at home and taking all the necessary precautions. I would request those who came in contact with me to get themselves tested at the earliest. Please be safe and take care," Harbhajan Singh wrote on Twitter.
Harbhajan made his arrival in international cricket during the historic 2001 home Test series against Australia. The off-spinner emerged as India’s biggest asset against the haughty Aussies. He finished the series with 32 wickets in three Tests, including a hat-trick which was the first by an Indian. His victims were legendry Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne at the Eden Gardens.
With this remarkable performance against an invincible Australian side, Harbhajan cemented his place in the Indian team. This was during a time when Anil Kumble was at the peak of his form and in the coming years, Harbhajan formed a lethal spin duo with his senior partner, at times he even outshone the veteran.
Due to his better attacking prowess with the bat and arguably better limited-overs approach, Harbhajan soon overtook Kumble in ODIs as the lead spinner of the side. In Tests though, Kumble still was the main man although he did have to fight a battle of his own. Once Kumble retired, the onus was on Harbhajan to carry the flag of spin bowling forward in the Indian team. He did have his moments, not only at home where he was a strike force obviously but also played a good role in some of India's famous overseas Test wins.
Statistically, he is India's second most successful off-spinner in Test cricket but he could have achieved a lot more in the latter half of his career. Even though he wasn't at his best, he played a pivotal role in India's 2011 World Cup glory. The 2010 and 2011 seasons were really torrid for Harbhajan and the emergence of Ravichandran Ashwin meant that the former's position was soon slipping away.
Harbhajan Singh played 103 Tests and took 417 wickets at an average of 32.46. His tally was recently eclipsed by Ashwin during the New Zealand series. In ODIs, Harbhajan took 269 wickets in 236 matches. In 28 T20Is, he could manage only 25 wickets.