Former cricketer Harbhajan Singh believes Team India can't be complacent ahead of their final Super 12 game of the T20 World Cup against Zimbabwe. The two teams will clash at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday, November 6.
If South Africa and Pakistan win their respective games on Sunday, the Men in Blue will have to beat Zimbabwe to qualify for the semifinals. Although the Chevrons have lost their previous two games, they defeated Pakistan earlier in the tournament and can't be taken lightly.
Speaking to Aaj Tak, Harbhajan Singh explained why Rohit Sharma and Co. need to treat the match against Zimbabwe as a knockout game. He said:
"It shouldn't happen (Zimbabwe winning), but we can't take anything for granted as cricket is a funny game. We went to the 2007 World Cup thinking that we will do well since we had a very strong team. But then, we were beaten by Bangladesh and then Sri Lanka knocked us out.
"So, India will know the importance of this game and will have to treat it like a must-win game."
Harbhajan Singh responds to Ricky Ponting comments on Team India
Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting recently stated that India haven't quite played to their potential yet at the T20 World Cup.
The Men in Blue picked up last-gasp wins against Pakistan and Bangladesh while suffering a defeat at the hands of South Africa. Their only convincing victory came against the Netherlands, a team they were expected to beat anyway.
However, Harbhajan feels the team will take a lot of heart from their thrilling wins over Pakistan and Bangladesh. On this, the former off-spinner stated:
"Although Ricky feels we haven't played out best cricket, but I look at it differently. The best knock of this World Cup was of Virat Kohli against Pakistan. So, other teams might be feeling that India are not out of the game until the last ball is bowled."
He further added:
"Playing best cricket doesn't always mean beating the opposition by 100 runs. Other teams are also here to win and play good cricket."
Harbhajan also recalled the knockout wins over Australia and Pakistan in the 2011 World Cup, in which he played, and how it helped the team in the final against Sri Lanka:
"When we won the quarterfinal against Australia and semifinal against Pakistan [in 2011], the pressure of the final got reduced drastically because we had beaten big teams. So these close wins in the group stages will only help India take less pressure if they reach the knockout stages."
If Rohit Sharma's side beat Zimbabwe, they will top their group and play the runner-up of the other group in the semifinals.
Get IPL 2023 Live Score along with Points Table & Schedule Updates at Sportskeeda.