Ponting, who is in India promoting his home state of Tasmania as its brand ambassador, told ANI, “My arch nemesis when I was playing against India was Harbhajan Singh, I still get nightmares about him.”
The famed rivalry between offspinner Harbhajan and Ponting saw the former dismissing the Australian on 10 occasions in 14 Tests.Ponting, regarded as the best Australian batsman of his generation, scored 13378 runs in 168 Tests and has 41 centuries to go with 62 fifties. Although he has a Test batting average of 51.85, it plummets to 26.48 when his record in India is considered. In 25 innings, he managed 662 runs and has just one century to show for.Harbhajan shared a frosty relationship with the Australian team which was punctuated by several verbal volleys. The most infamous and ugliest incident being the Monkeygate scandal during India’s Australia tour in 2008 wherein during the second Test of the series in Sydney, allrounder Andrew Symonds said he was racially abused by Harbhajan, claiming the Indian bowler called him ‘monkey’.The spinner was handed a three-match suspension for the incident, which he strongly denied. Afterwards, the Indian team threatened to walk out of the tour but later on completed the series and subsequently the suspension was rescinded. Ponting, the Australian captain, strongly supported Symonds during the entire saga.
On his part, Harbhajan considers Ponting among the top five batsmen he has played against.