Harbhajan Singh believes the Sri Lanka tri-series will serve as a build-up to the upcoming Champions Trophy. The Indian cricketers will begin their long season with the tri-series in Colombo that involves New Zealand besides the hosts.
The Indians will then be heading for South Africa for the Champions Trophy that begins Sep 22.
The Indian off-spinner Monday said India will be the favourites to win the Sep 8-14 tri-series.
'We have done well against New Zealand in New Zealand recently. We have also performed well against Sri Lanka in the recent ODI series. In fact, we have beaten all the sides in the last two years. If we play to our potential, we will win the tournament,' Harbhajan said during the trophy unveiling ceremony of Compaq Cup here.
'The tri-series at Sri Lanka will be a good build-up for the season ahead with Champions Trophy starting immediately after that.'
'There is a good mix of youth and experience in the team. We have proven match-winners. Also, the return of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid will boost the batting.'
Harbhajan said that though Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan will be missed, it will be an opportunity for other players to deliver.
'They (Sehwag and Zaheer) are two very important members of the team and we will miss them. But it is an opportunity for other players to step up their performance.'
After Australia's fall from the helm of the Test rankings, India rose to third spot behind South Africa and Sri Lanka. Harbhajan said it was the result of team's hard work.
'We have worked hard in the last couple of years and that's why we are third in the rankings now. If you ask me, then I believe that we are the top side in world. And I am sure that in the next six months, even the rankings will show that.'