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‘Playing against Pakistan is always tricky’: Harbhajan Singh | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Harbhajan Singh, former off-spinner and member of the 2007 T20 World Cup-winning team, believes it will be a challenging time for India when they face Pakistan in the upcoming edition of the mega event, as the two countries rarely play against each other internationally.
The highly-anticipated 2024 T20 World Cup Group A match between India and Pakistan is now less than a month away.It will take place at the newly-built Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York on June 9.
In their seven encounters in the T20 World Cup, India have triumphed six times against Pakistan. The most recent clash occurred in October 2022 at a packed Melbourne Cricket Ground, where Virat Kohli‘s spectacular unbeaten 82 led India to a thrilling four-wicket victory over Pakistan.
“At the end of the day, playing against Pakistan is always (tricky) as both countries do not play much against each other. We do not know much about their strong and weak zones but the Indian management keeps track of every player and their strong and weak zones.”
“In the bowling department too, Pakistan bowlers keep themselves mentally and physically strong. These aspects will be taken care of by the Indian team. These things will come into play when both sides will battle it out on the field,” said Harbhajan while responding to an IANS query during an episode of the ‘Star Sports Press Room’ show.
Pakistan’s unpredictability factor along with how the New York pitch would behave also adds as a challenge for India. But Harbhajan thinks the Indian team being more aware about their own game and taking decisions based on the on-ground conditions will be key.
“It also depends on what decision you take on that particular day. You know Virat Kohli plays cover drive beautifully but bowlers still check him in the same area to get an outside edge in the slip. These chances you have to take according to the conditions. It is not important how much you know about your opponent but how much you are aware of your game. That is what matters the most and everything else is basic,” he added.
The 2024 T20 World Cup will be held across six venues in the West Indies and three stadiums in the USA. In the Caribbean, Kensington Oval in Barbados, Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Trinidad, Providence Stadium in Guyana, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua, Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia and Arnos Vale Stadium, St Vincent will be the hosts’.
In the USA, apart from New York, Broward County in Lauderhill, Florida and Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas, Texas, will be the venues. 20 teams will be divided into four groups of five each for the first round. Top two teams from each group will qualify for the Super eight stage.
In the Super Eight stage, teams will be split into two groups of four each. Teams seeded first and second in their groups in the first round will retain that seeding in the Super Eight, provided they qualify.
A1, B2, C1 and D2 finishers will be in one group, while A2, B1, C2 and D1 will be slotted in the other group. Top two sides from two groups of the Super eight will advance to the semifinals. The semifinals will be held in Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago on June 26 and 27 respectively, while the final will be held in Barbados on June 29.
(With IANS inputs)

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