The youngest ever Formula One champion overcame three older, higher-profile rivals to win in Abu Dhabi with calm maturity and take the title. Just as the career of one nerveless, ice-cold German driver fades away, so a new version emerges in his place.
After just seven fifties in his first 87 Test matches, Harbhajan has, 12 years after his debut, emerged as an all-rounder of note. First there were a 69 and 115 that saved a draw against New Zealand in Ahmedabad. Yesterday his bludgeoned 85 from 82 balls might yet put India in position to win the match. Clearly the emergence of Graeme Swann has sparked Harbhajan into action.
Probably the most pathetic title challenge in the history of the heavyweight division. From the Phil Collins intro to the local interest T-shirt, his was the most amateurish and incongruous presence in a title fight since Homer Simpson took on Drederick Tatum. Like Simpson, Harrison's strategy was to park the bus and hope for some opening in the later rounds. In the aftermath, even the pundits could not pretend this had been a surprise.
But Harrison's approach will have been no surprise to David Haye. How compatible Haye's professional pride is with such an insultingly easy contest is less clear. Was this the most risk-averse choice of title challenger in recent history? Was there no one else for Haye to fight? If there was any remaining dignity to the evening, it surely evaporated when Haye told us he had only waited until the third round to win for his own personal profit.
The man with just one Premier League goal in his last 25 appearances has been brought into the England squad to cover for Andy Carroll ahead of Kevin Davies. Having been booed at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday, at least Cole won't find the adjustment too daunting.Reuse content