World Cup-winning India spinner Harbhajan Singh feels India players will be focussed on the task in hand and not the controversy surrounding MS Dhoni’s gloves when they meet Australia in a crucial World Cup clash on Sunday.
Commenting on the recent controversy over MS Dhoni sporting Indian Army’s dagger symbol on his wicket-keeping gloves, Harbhajan Singh said the Indian team will be unfazed by the whole brouhaha around Dhoni’s gloves during their match against Australia on June 9 .
MS Dhoni wore gloves with Balidaan Insignia during India’s match against South Africa but the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday turned down the Board of Control of Cricket in India’s (BCCI) request to allow the Indian wicketkeeper to continue to wear the same further on the tournament.
“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,” Harbhajan Singh told India Today in an interview.
India defeated South Africa by 6 wickets in their campaign opener in Southampton and will look to register their second win of the tournament against Australia at The Oval, London, June 6.
Harbhajan Singh said both India and Australia are among the best teams at the World Cup 2019 but kept India as favourites to win the clash.
“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.”
“I don’t think there will be any changes in the 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. India will be good.”
“They 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.”
Harbhajan Singh said Australia possess quite a strong batting unit with the return of David Warner and Steve Smith after serving the one-year ball tampering ban.
The off spinner also warned India of Australia pacer Mitchell Starc who took a five-wicket haul against West Indies.
“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 are heading into the match after a convincing win over South Africa in their World Cup 2019 opener on Wednesday. Australia, on the other hand, have won two on two and are on a 10-match winning streak in ODIs.