World Cup 2019: Australia a solid opposition but India slightly ahead, says Harbhajan Singh


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ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: World Cup-winning off-spinner said India should be focussed on fending away the Mitchell Starc threat when they face defending champions Australia in London on Sunday.

India vs Australia World Cup 2019: India were knocked out by Australia in the last edition in 2015 (AP Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Harbhajan Singh said India start with slight edge over Asutralia in Sunday’s tie
  • India were knocked out by Australia in the semi-final of the 2015 World Cup
  • I don’t think there will be any changes in the Indian playing XI: Harbhajan Singh

World Cup-winning off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has said India will have a slight edge over Australia when the two teams meet in what is expected to be a blockbuster World Cup 2019 match at The Oval on Sunday.

Speaking to India Today from London, Harbhajan Singh opined the addition of Steve Smith and David Warner has made Australia a stronger unit.

India have won only 1 of their 4 matches against Australia in World Cups since the start of the 21st century but India have been among the most dominant sides in ODI history in the recent past.

India clinched their first-ever bilateral ODI series win in Australia earlier this year but Australia began their revival after a horror run in ODIs with a win over India in the sub-continent ahead of Indian Premier League 2019.

Australia have won 10 ODIs on the row and showed they have regained their old combativeness when they came back after being pushed to the wall against the West Indies on Thursday.

“It’s going to be an exciting game. Both the teams are top most teams in the competition. This is going to be a cracker of a game. I think India are slightly ahead,” Harbhajan said.

“I don’t think there will be any changes in the Indian playing XI. Weather is expected to be fine. I don’t think we have to make a lot of chances. We have the players who can adapt to any sort of situation,” the off-spinner added.

“Australia are a solid opposition. When Warner and Smith joined back, they made this team even more stronger but I think India are stronger as well.

“It’s going to be challenging to bat against Mitchell Starc. We saw in the previous game. He is in fine form. Coming to London, I don’t expect a lot of swing. India just should bat normally in the first 10 overs just the way they played Tests against Australia. If can resist and not lose too many wickets or not a single wicket inside the first 10 overs. then I think India have a good chance of making 280-290.”

Meanwhile, Harbhajan Singh also rubbished concerns of distraction over the much-talked-about controversy surrounding an Army Insignia on MS Dhoni’s glove. Dhoni’s gesture fuelled a huge debate back in India but the International Cricket Council has barred the wicketkeeper from wearing the gloves with Balidaan Badge.

“Obviously [players will be focussed], that’s something news channels are showing. I don’t think any player on Sunday will be thinking what MS is wearing on his gloves. They have a big game in front of them. If they win this one, then they will put out a statement that they are in it to win this Cup.”

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