Watch: Harbhajan Singh and Shoaib Akhtar were involved in a heated exchange during a game in the 2010 Asia Cup, which was won by India after a last-over six by the Indian off-spinner.
The league game between India and Pakistan in the 2010 Asia Cup had come down to a tense finish in Dambulla. Needing 268 for a win, the India team needed 49 in the last 29 balls, before Ravindra Jadeja was dismissed. Harbhajan walked out to accompany Suresh Raina at the crease, and the equation had come down to 16 off the last two overs.
The 49th over bowled by Akhtar began with a huge six off the blade of Raina, followed by a two and a single. Bhajji, who was on strike for the last ball of the over tried to pull a well-directed bouncer by the Pakistan quick, following which he walked up to the India spinner to give him an earful. The duo exchanged a few pleasantries, with umpire Billy Doctrove stepping in to diffuse the situation.
The pressure further piled on India as Raina was run out off the second ball of the 50th over, which saw Praveen Kumar walk out to the middle. Praveen managed to take two and a single off the next two deliveries, leaving Bhajji to get three off the last two deliveries. However, he needed just one more ball, as Bhajji managed to smoke the fifth ball by Mohammad Amir over midwicket for a huge six to help take India over the line, leaving Akhtar unimpressed.
The Pakistan pacer later revealed that he went to Bhajji’s room after the game to confront him. “I went looking for Harbhajan Singh in the hotel room to fight with him. He eats with us, roams around with us in Lahore, culture is similar to us, he is a Punjabi brother and yet he will misbehave with us? I thought I will go and fight with him in the hotel room. He knew that Shoaib was coming. But I couldn’t find him. I calmed down the next day and he had also apologised.”