Virat Kohli offers crucial Hardik Pandya update ahead of India vs Pakistan
- Kohli said Pandya is very valuable for India
- India take on Pakistan in Group 2 game on Sunday
- Kohli is yet to win the T20 World Cup
India all-rounder Hardik Pandya is nearing full fitness and will be able to bowl at some point during the T20 World Cup, captain Virat Kohli said on Saturday.
Pandya underwent a lower back surgery in 2019. Since then, he has bowled rarely, inviting questions if he can be played as a pure batter in the premier event.
On the eve of India's campaign opener against Pakistan in Dubai, Kohli brought an end to the said debate.
"Hardik (Pandya) is getting to the stage where he can bowl a couple of overs at some point during the tournament," Kohli told reporters on Saturday.
The Indian captain went on to say that he has always backed Pandya as a batsman and the latter is very "valuable" for Team India.
"What he brings at No 6 as a batter is something we can't create overnight. 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," added Kohli, who is set to step down as India's T20I captain at the end of the T20 World Cup.
India are set to face off against Pakistan at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in their Group 2 game.
"Pakistan are a strong team, we need to come up with a strong plan and execute it well," said Kohli.
Kohli was quizzed about India's combination for their clash with arch-rivals Pakistan, but the Indian skipper opted to not reveal it.
"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," added Kohli, who is yet to win the T20 World Cup.
The reporters on Saturday once again asked Kohli about his decision to quit the T20I captaincy. Responding to the same, the India captain said," 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."