Former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh picked the four teams he believes will play the semi-final of the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023 in India.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Bhajji clarified his reasoning behind his selections as well.
Harbhajan takes aim at Pakistan
Many believed that Pakistan, the no.1 ranked team in the world in ODIs would pose a major threat in the Asia Cup and the World Cup. However, following their disappointing performance in the continental tournament where they finished last, Bhajji isn’t convinced.
The CSK and MI legend expressed his opinion on the Babar Azam-led team, claiming them to be a better T20I outfit than they are in the ODIs. He also took a subtle dig at the Pakistan team and the people who hyped them up.
“People are saying Pakistan could advance to the semifinals but in the 50-over format, they are just average. They play good cricket in T20Is,” the Jalandhar-born cricketer frankly said.
Which teams did Harbhajan pick to play in the World Cup semi-finals?
Harbhajan went along the most traditional route as he picked the big three, England, India and Australia without much fuss. His fourth pick was New Zealand, with conditions, recent form and strength of the teams surely playing a part.
“My fourth pick would be New Zealand. (India, Australia, England, New Zealand) are my four semifinalists for the World Cup,” the long-term Mumbai Indians spinner said on his YouTube channel, ‘Harbhajan Turbanator Singh'.
Can India go all the way in the World Cup?
Playing at home, anything less than a World Cup final spot will be considered a failure for Team India; there is nothing the fans would love to see more than Rohit Sharma lifting the Trophy in Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad on 19 November 2023.
However, does India have what it takes to dominate yet another mega tournament? Well if the Asia Cup is any Indicator then the answer is certainly an overwhelming yes. Team India blew away arch-rivals Pakistan in a mammoth 228 victory on the way to reach the finals.
The final itself couldn’t be any more one-sided as Mohammed Siraj’s blistering bowling spell helped the Men in Blue knock down the Lankan Lions for a meagre 50 runs, which they chased down in just 6 overs.
The only match that didn’t go their way was when a heavily rotated India side lost to Bangladesh in a dead rubber match. With the return of Jasprit Bumrah bolstering the bowling line-up and King Kohli finding form, that wouldn’t be a major concern.
After a long time, Team India will be going into the World Cup boasting a balanced bowling attack to complement a strong batting contingent. There is every reason for the fans to be hopeful.