Bowlers are scared about being hit: Harbhajan recalls bowling to Misbah
India’s former off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, in an interview with ESPNcricinfo’s The Cricket Monthly, recalled bowling to Pakistan’s former batsman Misbahul Haq during the 2007 Twenty 20 World Cup final — which was won by the Men in Blue by the thinnest of margins.
Singh conceded 19 runs, including three sixes by Misbah, in the 17th over of the match which increased the pressure on the Indian side.
“Because after I was hit for a six, the pressure kept increasing. Rather than thinking what to do next, I was rushing through my deliveries. I wanted to just finish that over and feel I’ve finished my job,” the right-arm bowler said.
“Take that over where Misbah went after me. Okay, anybody can be hit for a six or two sixes or three sixes, but was my process correct? Many times we [bowlers] are ourselves so scared about being hit, we send the batsman the message that we are on the back foot,” the veteran spinner added.
The 39-year-old revealed that he planned on bowling quicker deliveries and Yorkers to Misbah during their encounter.
“So against Misbah I just wanted to bowl the quicker delivery and the yorker. Because in the semi-final, against Australia, I bowled six yorkers and it worked. Maybe there I was taking a bit longer, I was more focused, more composed, and able to stick to my plan,” he added.
The former off-spinner further explained what went wrong with his strategy during that spell against Pakistan.
“Against Pakistan, maybe I was rushing. I was not soaking up the pressure. When you are in a rush, you are not settled. Your feet are not working properly. Or your hands do not coordinate smoothly in your bowling action. Your front hand falls down quickly, or your bowling hand comes late, sometimes the ball does not spin, and what you want does not happen,” he concluded.