The veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh believes India serves as the joint-favourite alongside England for the upcoming 2019 World Cup. The recent match-winning performances given by England makes them a strong contender in the tournament. The last One-Day International series played by them against the West Indies made it sure for the challengers to take note.
England is currently the top-ranked team in ODIs. They are also tagged as the favourite team of the World Cup by cricket pundits. However, the Indian spinner Harbhajan feels India are equally lethal for the teams.
On being asked, Harbhajan said, “India, India and England I think.”
The intense desire for success from the Indian public will bring its own pressures for Virat Kohli’s squad
With Virat Kohli being named as the best batsman, the cricket fans in India look up to him for the much-awaited World Cup. Given that India delivered their first success in the tournament at England in 1983, the pressure is doubled. On this, Harbhajan expresses that the pressure from fans will not just be on Kohli but the whole team.
“It’s changing. It’s a lot better than it was. Still, the pressure will be there. Not just on Virat Kohli but the whole team,” he said ahead of the tournament, which starts on May 30.
Harbhajan has been part of the national side till the 2016 World Cup T20. But is yet to announce his retirement from any format of the game. He has bagged 417 Test wickets and snared 269 Wickets in ODIs.
England has been showing its dominance in the ODIs for quite a time now and seems ready to lift their first-ever title of the event. Meanwhile, the return of David Warner and Steven Smith has once again made Australia as a tough contender.
Australia has been dominating the showpiece event with five written to its name. Whereas, India has been the one to break their(Australia’s) dominance in one-dayers for the past 20 years. At present, India is second in the ICC one-day rankings.
Harbhajan has featured in three 50-over World Cups and two finals. And the 38-year-old off-spinner is certain India’s current crop have enough quality to match England and Australia.
India opens its campaign against South Africa on June 5 in Southampton.