ICC T20 World Cup 2021: "We definitely have to bring our A game" - Virat Kohli ahead of Pakistan clash

Virat Kohli expects Hardik Pandya to resume bowling soon (Credit: Getty Images)
Virat Kohli expects Hardik Pandya to resume bowling soon (Credit: Getty Images)
Ankush Das

Team India captain Virat Kohli has asserted that they will have to be at their best to beat arch-rivals Pakistan in the ICC T20 World Cup on Sunday in Dubai.

Although the Men in Blue have a 100% win record against Pakistan in World Cups, Sunday's encounter will be a new challenge for Kohli & his men. The Indian captain said that his team is not taking Babar Azam and Co. lightly.

Addressing a press conference on the eve of the game, Virat Kohli said:

"Pakistan are strong, you have to play your best cricket against them every time. They have players who are game-changers. We definitely have to bring our A game against Pakistan."

Pakistan have been a consistent side in the shortest format, especially in the UAE. They have not lost any of their last 11 T20I matches in the UAE. They also have 15 victories under their belt in Dubai alone from 25 matches.

"Hardik [Pandya] is getting better with his physical condition" - Virat Kohli

IHardik Pandya has struggled with his back injury since 2019 (Credit: BCCI)
IHardik Pandya has struggled with his back injury since 2019 (Credit: BCCI)

Virat Kohli has stated that Hardik Pandya is getting better with each day and is likely to resume bowling soon. Pandya has hardly bowled since his lower back injury in 2019.

Speaking about Team India's sixth-bowler conundrum, Virat Kohli said:

"Well, I honestly feel that Hardik Pandya presently with his physical condition is getting better in terms of being prepared to bowl at least two overs for us at a certain stage in this tournament and we strongly believe we can make the most of the opportunity we have at our hand till the time he starts bowling. We have considered a couple of other options to chip in with overs so we are not bothered about that all."

India will look to sneak in some overs from the likes of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli if the need for a sixth bowler arises. For the unknown, Kohli rolled his arms in the last warm-up game against Australia and shelled 12 runs from his two overs.

1. Sitting out himself so that an extra batsman could get a chance to play. 2. Coming in to bowl as the 6th bowling option, just what the team needed. Virat Kohli - The perfect team man. πŸ™Œ

The Indian captain also backed Hardik Pandya's prowess with the bat at the No.6 position.

"What he brings at number six for us is something that you cannot create overnight. Hence, I was always in favour of backing him as a batter in Australia purely and we saw what he did in the T20I series and how he can take the game away from the opposition. We understand the value he brings to the team as a number six batter and it is important to have such players who can play impact innings. For us, that is way more valuable than forcing him to do something that he cannot at the moment, he is motivated and he is keen to start giving us a couple of overs to us," Virat Kohli added.

India will look to make a winning start to their T20 World Cup campaign before their next clash against New Zealand on October 31.

Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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