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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

Harbhajan tips Lanka to topple Australia

March 17, 2003 21:47 IST

Sri Lanka can upset Australia in Tuesday's World Cup semi-final because of the defending champions' weakness against spin, India off spinner Harbhajan Singh said on Monday.

"I think Sri Lanka have a very good chance," Harbhajan told reporters. "The Australian batsmen are very good players but they tend to play too many shots against spinners which doesn't always click."

Harbhajan, who captured 32 wickets in India's 2-1 win over Australia, said Muttiah Muralitharan, Aravinda de Silva and captain Sanath Jayasuriya would trouble Australia on a slow and low St George's Park pitch.

"Sri Lanka have three good spinners and on the Port Elizabeth pitch, they have a very good chance," he said.

Australia start favourites after beaten Sri Lanka by 96 runs in the Super Six stage.

But Harbhajan said: "Kenyan left-arm spinner Aasif Karim took three wickets in two overs without conceding a run on Saturday to bring some pressure on Australia."

Kenya meet India in the second semi-final at the same venue on Thursday.

BEST BATTING

Harbhajan described India's batting line-up as the world's best and said his team could no longer be regarded as poor travellers.

"We used to struggle abroad, but that was long ago," he said. "We have been playing good cricket outside India also in the last two years.

"We have the best batting line-up in the world. We are also bowling well and our fielding has gone up."

Australia drubbed India by nine wickets in the first round after bowling them out for their lowest World Cup score of 125, but India have since won seven consecutive matches.

Harbhajan said India deserved a second World Cup.

"We have been working very hard. We deserve to win this time," he said. "We can't take Kenya lightly. They have beaten Sri Lanka. We have to play really well to beat them."

Harbhajan has taken only nine wickets at an average of 28.22 from eight games, after he was preferred to leg spinner Anil Kumble, but he said he had been determined to excel on unhelpful South African pitches.

"These are hard wickets which have had something for our fast bowlers, but little for spinners," he said. "But a good bowler has to perform in all conditions. I am looking forward to big performances myself."

© Copyright 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.


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Number of User Comments: 4




Sub: Beware of negative mindset

The way the Indians (Ganguly first and now Harbhajan) have been saying on record that Sri Lanka are the favorites to win the first semifinal ...


Posted by Prasanna





Sub: Great Guns Bhajji

I am delighted. Then what if everybody is talking and praising about our pace attack these days but such comments by bhajji only shows that ...


Posted by Puneet





Sub: bajji - no comments pls

bajji bhai, pls concentrate on your bowling and batting rather than making comments, this semi is a one sided match, australia will win by a ...


Posted by shibu p sam





Sub: harbhjantipsSriLanka

Iam glad bajjuhad grownupto advise other teams also. Its a good sign to show howmuch he has developed techinically in bowling. I request the indian ...


Posted by chvdathatreya




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