Defending champions India cannot afford to be complacent even though they are up against a Sri Lanka, which can hardly claim to be a great team, feels veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh. India will take on Sri Lanka here tomorrow in their second Champions Trophy match and a win will assure them of a place in the semifinals.
“The islanders do not boast a great team, and Upul Tharanga’s absence will hurt them immensely. With first-choice captain Angelo Mathews injured, it was left to Tharanga to stand in for him but now he has left a void,” Harbhajan wrote in his column for the ICC. Tharanga has been suspended for two matches owing to over-rate offences.
“Let’s not forget the upcoming game is extremely crucial from Sri Lanka’s point of view because the team has already lost to South Africa and faces a must-win situation against the defending champion,” Harbhajan wrote. The feisty bowler feels India carry a lot of positives into the match, given their dominating win over Pakistan in the lung-opener.
“Almost every batsman fired in right earnest during Sunday’s showdown against Pakistan. Even the bowlers had a fruitful outing, but I would like to see some improvements in the bowling department. I must admit that I was a little surprised by India’s underwhelming display in the field,” he said.
“If it ends up being a 50-overs-a-side game, then I don’t see Sri Lanka troubling India at all,” he added but cautioned against taking things for granted.
“The Men in Blue should also be wary of the complacency factor. On a high after the 124-run win over Pakistan, Virat Kohli and his side must not let the intensity levels down. India just needs to get the basics right. I expect the top order as well as Kohli and Yuvraj Singh to take off from where they left in Birmingham,” he said.