Hat-tricks are very hard to get in international cricket. There have been five instances of an Indian bowler picking up a hat-trick in ODIs, three in Tests and only one in T20Is.
2019 saw four instances of Indian bowlers picking up three wickets in as many deliveries. Two of these hat-tricks came in one-dayers, including one in the World Cup by Mohammed Shami. Jasprit Bumrah and Deepak Chahar registered one hat-trick each in a Test match and a T20I respectively. Kuldeep Yadav also picked up a hat-trick against the West Indies.
Indian bowlers could potentially add to their hat-trick numbers when they take on Australia in a long and challenging tour Down Under. The series in Australia will begin with the first of three ODIs at Sydney on November 27th. The ODIs will be followed by three T20Is, which will be succeeded by the four-match Test series.
Till date, only two Indian bowlers have taken hat-tricks in international cricket against Australia.
1. Harbhajan Singh (Eden Gardens Test, Kolkata - 2001)
The first hat-trick by an Indian we look at came against Australia during the incredible 2001 Test match at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. The Aussies found themselves in a good position at 252 for 4 while batting first, courtesy of Matthew Hayden’s 97 and Justin Langer’s 58.
Harbhajan Singh, who was just another upcoming off-spinner in the Indian team at the time, changed the complexion of the game. He dismissed Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne to register India’s first-ever hat-trick in Test matches.
Singh began by trapping Ponting lbw for 6. Ponting would famously go on to become the off-spinner’s bunny in future fixtures.
Adam Gilchrist was dismissed by lbw on the next ball after playing on the back foot although replays suggested the ball had pitched outside leg. The hat-trick was completed when Shane Warne played a lame defensive shot and was brilliantly caught by Sadagoppan Ramesh on the leg side.
The match saw two other heroic efforts from VVS Laxman (281) and Rahul Dravid (180), as India unbelievably turned the match on its head, after being asked to follow-on.
2. Kuldeep Yadav (Eden Gardens ODI, Kolkata - 2017)
The second hat-trick by an Indian against Australia was also taken by a spinner. This hat-trick also came at the famous venue where Harbhajan Singh picked up his hat-trick. Only the format of the game was different on this occasion.
Chasing an attainable target of 253 runs, Australia crumbled at 138 for 5 as Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Yuzvendra Chahal ran through the top and middle-order. The Indians team is known for letting things slip against the lower order, but Kuldeep Yadav ensured there was no late fightback from the Aussies.
Yadav began by dismissing Matthew Wade for 2 with a slow leg break that the wicket-keeper batsman chopped on. On the next ball, he trapped Ashton Agar with a loopy leg-break that the left-hander completely missed.
Yadav completed the hat-trick by getting Pat Cummins caught behind with a googly that beat his uncertain defence. The edge settled nicely into MS Dhoni’s gloves, and the young left-arm spinner was understandably ecstatic.
Yadav’s efforts ensured that Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s hard-fought knock of 92 from 107 did not go in vain. Opening the innings, Ajinkya Rahane also chipped in with 55 from 64. Australia managed only 202 in response as India won the game by 50 runs.