Cricket enthusiasts worldwide are eagerly anticipating the upcoming ODI World Cup, and experts are beginning to share their predictions for the tournament. Renowned Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh recently shared his perspective on the Pakistan cricket team, expressing his views on their chances in the ODI format and their potential in the tournament.
Harbhajan Singh described Babar Azam’s team as ‘average’ in the ODI format and did not consider them strong contenders to reach the semifinals.
“People are saying Pakistan could advance to the semifinals, but in the 50-over format, they are just average. They play good cricket in T20Is, but my fourth pick would be New Zealand. (India, Australia, England, New Zealand) are my four semifinalists for the World Cup,” remarked Harbhajan on his YouTube channel.
It’s worth noting that Pakistan currently holds the top spot in the ICC ODI team rankings. However, their recent performance in the Asia Cup 2023 did not yield the desired results. After a strong start against Nepal, Pakistan faced India in a Group A match in Kandy, which ended in a no-result due to persistent rain.
In the Super Four stage, Pakistan began well with a convincing victory over Bangladesh in Lahore. However, as the matches shifted to Colombo, they faced setbacks, including a demoralizing loss to India and a defeat against Sri Lanka in a virtual semi-final.
Pakistan ultimately finished in fourth place, with Bangladesh edging them on net run rate. Pakistan has two warm-up matches scheduled before the ODI World Cup, and they will be eager to secure victories to boost their confidence ahead of the tournament.
Their first warm-up game is set for September 29 in Hyderabad against New Zealand, followed by another match against Australia at the same venue on October 3. Pakistan’s World Cup campaign will commence on October 6 in Hyderabad with a match against the Netherlands, who qualified for the tournament as well.