"He won them the only game they have won against India in the World Cup" - Harbhajan Singh picks Mohammad Rizwan as Pakistan's key batter vs India

India v Pakistan - ICC Men
Mohammad Rizwan (right) played a match-winning knock against India in the 2021 T20 World Cup.

Harbhajan Singh reckons Mohammad Rizwan will be Pakistan's key batter in their 2024 T20 World Cup clash against India in New York on Sunday, June 9. He pointed out that the wicketkeeper-batter was primarily responsible for the Men in Green's only win against their arch-rivals in a World Cup game.

Pakistan head into Sunday's game after a shocking loss to the United States of America in Dallas three days ago. Rizwan scored nine runs off eight deliveries as Pakistan posted 159/7, which was matched by the USA's 159/3 before Babar Azam and company lost in the Super Over.

On the Star Sports show 'Game Plan', Harbhajan was asked to pick a Pakistan batter to watch out for in the crunch game against India.

"Rizwan, I feel he is a fantastic player. He is a match-winner in himself. On his day, he is a very destructive player. He is a player who doesn't play for himself but for the team. I have seen many of his innings, one was against India," he responded.
"Babar Azam's innings was slightly slow but he (Rizwan) won them the only game they have won against India in the World Cup. He was sitting down and hitting Mohammed Shami towards square leg," the former India spinner added.

India set Pakistan a 152-run target in a 2021 T20 World Cup group-phase clash in Dubai. Rizwan (79* off 55) and Babar Azam (68* off 52) then took the Men in Green to a comprehensive 10-wicket win, their only victory against India in a World Cup game across both white-ball formats.


"We will have to be slightly wary of him and we will have to look to get him out" - Harbhajan Singh on Mohammad Rizwan

Mohammad Rizwan has amassed 3212 runs at an average of 48.67 in 99 T20Is.
Mohammad Rizwan has amassed 3212 runs at an average of 48.67 in 99 T20Is.

Harbhajan Singh noted that India need to dismiss Mohammad Rizwan early and named Jasprit Bumrah the most capable bowler to do the job.

"I have seen a few of his innings against Australia and England as well. So he is a mighty player. I feel we will have to be slightly wary of him and we will have to look to get him out. Who can be the most capable bowler for that - Bumrah," he said on the same show.
"Bumrah is a bowler whose ball comes in and goes out as well, and it's even more difficult to play Bumrah in these conditions. So in my opinion, the one player who can give them an edge in batting is Mohammad Rizwan. You have to get him out early, or else he can hurt you," the cricketer-turned-commentator added.

Navjot Singh Sidhu concurred with Harbhajan that the Pakistani batters have predominantly had an individualistic approach. He also opined that Babar Azam should bat at either No. 3 or 4, with Fakhar Zaman opening instead of the Pakistan skipper.

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