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.
Only Test, Tolerance Oval, 28 Feb - 01 Mar 2024
4th Test, Ranchi, 23-26 Feb 2024
3rd T20I, Auckland, 25 Feb 2024
2nd T20I (N), Auckland, 23 Feb 2024