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This Pakistan team doesn’t have it in them to challenge India: Harbhajan Singh

Harbhajan particularly praised Rohit who has been in fine touch in this Asia Cup.

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Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Pakistan have won more games against India in ODIs in history but in the recent times, the green shirts have tasted success against the Men in Blue as an exception. They have been comprehensively beaten by India twice in the ongoing Asia Cup in the United Arab Emirates prompting Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh to say that the rivalry looks far too one-sided at the moment.

India blew away Pakistan by 8 wickets with 21 overs to spare in a group game on September 19 and four days later, bulldozed them by 9 wickets, to reach the final of the tournament for the ninth time, equalling the record of former champions Sri Lanka. On both occasions, Pakistan’s batting struggled to dominate India’s bowling while their bowlers crawled in front of the Indian batting.

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In the game on September 23, both stand-in captain Rohit Sharma (111 not out) and his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan (114) slammed hundreds to take India to almost a 10-wicket victory after Pakistan scored 237 for 7 in 50 overs. Dhawan, however, got run-out when India needed another 28 runs.

Pakistan were only playing, not to win

“There’s a big difference between these two teams. This Pakistani team doesn’t have it in them to compete with the Indian team. They were only playing the game but not to win. India are the No.1 contender to win the Asia Cup. India remain the favourites,” Harbhajan told India Today in an exclusive talk.

“Rohit is a class apart. Shikhar is a very talented batsman. The kind of bowling attack we have it’s tough to compete against us. India have the experience…MS Dhoni, Rohit, Dhawan, Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar and even Ambati Rayudu. In Pakistan, barring Shoaib Malik there’s no other player who has this kind of exposure. That is the difference between the two teams,” he added.

Harbhajan particularly praised Rohit who has been in fine touch in this Asia Cup, failing only against qualifiers Hong Kong. The 31-year-old batsman was picked as India’s captain in the absence of Virat Kohli who was rested for the tournament and he hasn’t disappointed so far.

India will play Afghanistan in their final Super Fours game at Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday. Afghanistan lost two games closely and are out of the race for the final.

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