Mohammad Amir will be key for Pakistan in India clash, feels Harbhajan Singh
India will face Pakistan in the high voltage World Cup clash at the Old Trafford on Sunday.
Updated - Feb 9, 2020 9:11 pm
Ace Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has said ahead of the India-Pakistan clash in World Cup 2019 that left-arm seamer Mohammad Amir will be an important factor in the game. Amir, who almost missed the bus for this World Cup but made a magnificent return to form after being included, picked five wickets in the game versus Australia in Taunton. The 27-year-old fast bowler has taken 10 wickets in just three games so far in the tournament.
Amir will be Pakistan’s top bet against a star-studded Indian batting line-up even though it will not feature Shikhar Dhawan who got a fractured thumb in the match against Australia at the Oval last Sunday. Harbhajan feels if Sarfaraz Ahmed’s side fancies its chances against India, it has to make inroads early.
Speaking to Pakistan’s Geo.TV in an exclusive interview, the 38-year-old cricketer said: “I feel that Pakistan will depend much on Amir and other fast bowlers. If they can manage to take early wickets against India then it will be easy for them to restrict India by 250. Anything above 300 can be difficult for Pakistan. Babar Azam is a good player, I love to see him playing as he has proper technique. Your openers are very good too.”
According to the Turbanator who has been part of one World Cup clash with Pakistan in 2011 and played a key role in India’s win on that occasion, conceded that India vs Pakistan games are always about pressure, be it in a World Cup or not. He said there can’t be a bigger contest in the tournament than seeing the two rivals taking on each other.
No one can take Pakistan lightly
“It will be a pressure game, when I used to play Pakistan it had some top-class players and it is always a pressure game, World Cup or without World Cup. Although Pakistan is not too strong as it used to be but still it will be a pressure match. Pakistan is an unpredictable team, they defeated England — one of the favourite teams — so no one can take Pakistan lightly,” Harbhajan said airing a caution for Virat Kohli’s men. He said India have an edge if a full match is played but warned against writing off the Men in Green.
India had an easy win over Pakistan in the group match in the Champions Trophy but were thrashed in the final of the same competition which was also played in England two years ago.
However, rain could be a spoilsport in the match and Harbhajan said if the game is washed out, it will be a huge disappointment for the fans who are eagerly waiting for the big game.
India have five points from three games at the moment with two wins and one washout. Pakistan have three points from four games with one win, two losses and one washout.