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

India tour of South Africa 2021-22

3rd ODI, Cape Town, 23 Jan 2022

SA SA
287/10 & / (49.5 ov)
Ind Ind
283/10 & / (49.2 ov) (Target

South Africa won by 4 runs

Afghanistan v Netherlands in Qatar, 2022

2nd ODI, Doha, 23 Jan 2022

Afgh Afgh
237/6 & / (50. ov)
Neth Neth
189/10 & / (47.4 ov) (Target

Afghanistan won by 48 runs

England tour of West Indies 2022

1st T20I (D/N), Bridgetown, 22 Jan 2022

Eng Eng
103/10 & / (19.4 ov)
WI WI
104/1 & / (17.1 ov) (Target

West Indies won by 9 wickets

India tour of South Africa 2021-22

2nd ODI, Paarl, 21 Jan 2022

Ind Ind
287/6 & / (50. ov)
SA SA
288/3 & / (48.1 ov) (Target

South Africa won by 7 wickets