Sports

Sarfaraz is good player, but he needs to lead team like Imran: Singh

 Former Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh has termed Mohammad Amir an important factor for Pakistan ahead of the much-awaited, high-voltage World Cup game between India and Pakistan.
In an exclusive interview with Geo.tv, India’s most successful off-spinner said that if Pakistan wants to beat India at Manchester on Sunday, they’ll have to take early wickets.
“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,” said Harbhajan, a veteran of 236 ODIs and 103 Test matches.
The former cricketer said that Pakistan vs India is always a pressure game and there can’t be a bigger contest in the tournament than seeing the two rivals from the sub-continent taking on each other.
He also warned India against taking the unpredictable Pakistan lightly in the tournament.
“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,” he said.
“I just hope that weather allows a full 50-over game because everyone wants to see this match, India vs Pakistan game is true flavour of World Cup. If it gets washed out everyone will be disappointed.”
Harbhajan further said that India will have an edge over Pakistan if a full 50-over game is played on Sunday but added that Pakistan has players who can do wonders.
He added that Indian team doesn’t take much pressure of the opponent they’re facing.
“Kohli doesn’t see he’s playing Pakistan or Australia and gives respect to the opposition and we know that Pakistan has players who can do well. But, if there’s full 50 overs game then it will give an edge to India as it has experienced and flamboyant players who have performed in such situations. Pakistan has players that can do wonders, especially Mohammad Amir. If he can take three-four wickets earlier then it can turn the tables,” he said.
“Sarfaraz is a good player, but he needs to lead the team like Imran Khan did in this big match,” the former Indian spinner advised the Pakistan captain and wicket-keeper batsman.
Replying to a question about India’s unbeaten record against Pakistan in World Cup, Harbhajan said that the past record will not have much impact on the game on Sunday and India will have to be at their best to beat Pakistan.
He also said that the match is very important for Pakistan to win, specially to stay alive in the tournament and they’ve the opportunity to change the record against India on Sunday.
“India hasn’t lost to Pakistan in World Cup, but that’s history, but if they want to keep the record then they will really have to play well against Pakistan. Just having 6-0 edge in mind won’t make it 7-0 for you. Pakistan has the chance tomorrow, they have the opportunity to change the record and it is not impossible, if they work hard then they can do well too,” he said.
“Pakistan needs to win this game to stay alive in World Cup as well and if Pakistan is out of race then it will be very sad news for all the cricket fans.”