ICC T20 World Cup 2021
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Hardik Pandya will bowl at some stage during the tournament, says Virat Kohli

24 Oct 2021

Hardik Pandya is getting closer to full fitness and will be able to bowl at some stage during the tournament, India captain Virat Kohli said ahead of their match against Pakistan.

“Hardik (Pandya) is getting to the stage where he can bowl a couple of overs at some point during the tournament,” Virat Kohli told reporters on Saturday.

The India captain said that he has always backed Hardik Pandya as a batter and he is very valuable for the team.

“What he brings at No 6 as a batter is something we can’t create overnight,” said Kohli.

“Have backed him always there as a batter. We know the value he brings in, he is a specialist at doing that, can play an impact innings.

“Way more valuable than forcing him to do something he is not ready for.

What he brings at No 6 as a batter is something we can’t create overnight.”

India will lock horns with arch-rivals Pakistan in their opening match in Dubai on Sunday.

“Pakistan are a strong team, we need to come up with a strong plan and execute it well,” said Kohli.

When asked about the combination for their match against Pakistan, the India captain kept the cards close to his chest. He said: “Not going to reveal combinations, but we have a balanced team. It comes down to execution on the field, and understanding roles, we are well prepared."

Kohli on decision of quitting T20I captaincy
Virat Kohli had recently announced that he would only be available as a player in the shortest format after the World Cup.

The 32-year-old said that he has explained already why he is stepping away from the T20I captaincy and there is no point harping on it.

“I have already addressed the issue, no point in harping on it. I have explained myself very honestly. If people feel there is more to it, then I feel sorry for them,” said Kohli.

Matches

West Indies tour of Zimbabwe 2023

1st Test, Bulawayo, 04-08 Feb 2023

WI WI
447/6 dec & 203/5 dec (. ov)
Zim Zim
379/9 dec & 134/6 (. ov) (Target 272

Match drawn

New Zealand tour of India 2023

3rd T20I, Ahmedabad, 01 Feb 2023

Ind Ind
234/4 & / (20. ov)
NZ NZ
66/10 & / (12.1 ov) (Target

India won by 168 runs

England tour of South Africa 2023

3rd ODI, Kimberley, 01 Feb 2023

Eng Eng
346/7 & / (50. ov)
SA SA
287/10 & / (43.1 ov) (Target

England won by 59 runs

New Zealand tour of India 2023

2nd T20I, Lucknow, 29 Jan 2023

NZ NZ
99/8 & / (20. ov)
Ind Ind
101/4 & / (19.5 ov) (Target

India won by 6 wickets