Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh. Image-Twitter.

Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has said that the 10-wicket loss to arch-rivals Pakistan in their opening match of the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup 2021, should be a wake-up call for the Indian team, as they prepare to face New Zealand in their next match on October 31st.

The Babar Azam-led team started their T20 World Cup campaign with two wins in two matches and is currently at the top of the group 2 points table in the Super 12s stage. After besting the Virat Kohli-led Indian team, they outshined Kane Williamson’s New Zealand in their next match to win the match by 5 wickets. With the form they are in, it is expected that they are the favorite to seal the first semi-final spot.

India National Cricket Team, ICC T20 World Cup 2021
India National Cricket Team. Image Credits: Twitter

With both New Zealand and India losing their first matches respectively, this makes their encounter in Dubai on October 31 a virtual quarter-final as a loss here will severely hamper the losing team’s chances to make the semi-finals despite the presence of two minnow teams in the group in Scotland and Namibia.

We Must Beat New Zealand First. From Now, All Matches Must-Win For Indian Team: Harbhajan Singh

India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh on Wednesday said that the defeat against Pakistan is a wake-up call for Team India and from now onwards, every match is a must-win game for the Virat Kohli-led side. However, despite the importance of the India-New Zealand tie, Harbhajan said that it was not a virtual quarter-final.

Team India.Photo- ICC
Team India.Photo- ICC

“The match against New Zealand is not a virtual quarter-final. Afghanistan can upset anyone, we can’t take them lightly. We must beat New Zealand first and then think about the other games. From now onwards, all the matches are a kind of must-win game for Team India,” Harbhajan told India Today.

“The loss against Pakistan is a wakeup call for Team India. I am sure they will come back stronger against New Zealand. India have a very good side, they just had an off day against Pakistan. I still back India to beat New Zealand, knowing the quality we have in this team. They just need to go out there and showcase their talent,” he added.

New Zealand
New Zealand (Image Credit: Twitter)

After the New Zealand clash, India will still have matches against Afghanistan, Namibia, and Scotland in hand to make their mark and qualify for the semi-finals, but they need to beat New Zealand first to do that and India has never beaten the Black Caps in T20 World Cups yet.

Also Read: India Still Have A Chance To Win ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021: Yusuf Pathan