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Bowlers Failed India in Champions Trophy Final: Harbhajan Singh

Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh feels that the Indian bowlers failed when it mattered the most.

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Cricket
3 min read
Bowlers Failed India in Champions Trophy Final: Harbhajan Singh

Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh feels the blame for India's embarrassing loss to arch-rivals Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final lies with the team's bowlers, who "disappointed when it mattered".

Harbhajan said the runs leaked in the middle overs and the spinners' inability to take wickets made a huge impact in the match as Pakistan piled on a big total of 338/4 after being put into bat.

India were then bowled out for 158 in just 30.3 overs as Pakistan notched up a 180-run win in a lop-sided summit clash in London on Sunday.

Our bowlers disappointed when it mattered the most. We didn’t start too well to begin with. The spinners did not help by giving away too many runs, plus they didn’t take any wickets. This cost us immensely.
Harbhajan Singh wrote in his column for the ICC.

"Our fielding was not up to the mark as seen in previous matches. It was such kind of performance where we were hoping for a breakthrough rather than making things happen. The runs given in the middle overs were too much. They got their partnerships spot on. They were up for it right from the first ball and one had the feeling that they had saved their best for the final against us," he said.

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Harbhajan also felt that the 'no ball' that Jasprit Bumrah bowled to have Fakhar Zaman being caught behind by Mahendra Singh Dhoni cost the Indian team. Zaman went on to score 114 to set up the win for Pakistan.

"The crucial point of Sunday's final at The Oval came extremely early. It was the no-ball that Jasprit Bumrah bowled that saw Fakhar Zaman being caught behind by MS Dhoni, " said Harbhajan who has played 103 Tests, 236 ODIs and 28 T20Is for India from 1998 to 2016.

The look on Kohli’s face said everything. Mind you, Zaman was batting on three at that time. Post that, he did not need another chance. Bumrah’s no-ball incident proved to be costly as Zaman took the game away from India. He attacked the spinners rather than taking singles.
Harbhajan Singh

Talking about India's overall performance in the tournament, Harbhajan said, "India had every reason to feel confident going into the final. Barring that minor blimp against Sri Lanka, we had beaten each of our opponents convincingly. Given the kind of side we had, especially the strength in batting, I wouldn't say it was a great performance by us if you look at the tournament as a whole.

We were good in patches, didn’t have to work really hard to get to the final if you compare it to previous ICC tournaments. It would have been great to finish on the winning side though.
Harbhajan Singh

"India had enough reason to worry chasing down 338. It was a daunting total to chase, but we knew our hopes rested on our top three batsmen who had to give us a near-perfect start. Things took a turn for the worse by the ninth over as Mohammad Amir sent Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli back to the pavilion. Pakistan could not have asked for a better position to be in. The game was done and dusted there,” added Harbhajan.

(With inputs from PTI)

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