Pakistan ‘very sturdy’ ahead of T20 blockbuster, Kohli says


Indian skipper Virat Kohli. — AFP/File
Indian skipper Virat Kohli. — AFP/File

DUBAI: Indian skipper Virat Kohli on Saturday mentioned they are going to tackle a “very strong” Pakistan workforce of their T20 World Cup opener and downplayed their unbeaten document towards their opponents.

India have crushed Pakistan in all of their 12 matches on the T20 and 50-over World Cups.

“We never discussed these things, about our record and past performance,” Kohli informed reporters on the eve of the much-anticipated conflict in Dubai on Sunday.

“These things create distractions. What matters is how we prepare and execute on that particular day, regardless of the opposition.”

Kohli mentioned regardless of their previous dominance Pakistan is and all the time has been full of gifted gamers.

“Pakistan, according to me is a very strong team and always has been a strong side,” he mentioned.

“You have to play your best cricket against them, because they have lots of talent and players who can change the game.”

Babar Azam’s Pakistan will look to interrupt their World Cup jinx towards India, who’ve received all 5 clashes in T20’s showpiece occasion.

Babar, Mohammad Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman maintain the workforce’s batting key whereas quicks Shaheen Shah Afridi and Hasan Ali lead a potent bowling assault.

Kohli backed his workforce’s match winners together with Hardik Pandya to return good within the event regardless of the all-rounder struggling along with his bowling.

“He is getting better in terms of getting prepared to bowl two overs for us,” mentioned Kohli.

“What he brings at that number six spot is something that you cannot create overnight and hence I was always in favour of backing him in Australia as a batter purely.

“He can take the sport away from the opposition when he’s in full movement.”

Pandya emerged as India’s top all-rounder after his white-ball debut in 2016 but a spate of back injuries affected his career and he underwent back surgery two years ago.

The pace bowler did not bowl in the second leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the United Arab Emirates for his side Mumbai Indians.

But Kohli says the attacking batsman is an asset to the team in the shortest format.

“We perceive the worth he brings to the workforce as a quantity six batter,”said Kohli.

“In world cricket should you go searching there are specialists who do this job and it is extremely necessary to have that man specifically in T20 cricket.

“He is motivated and keen to start giving us a couple of overs and when that happens obviously the balance becomes even better.

“But we’re fairly assured how we’re heading into the beginning of this event.”

The tournament is Kohli’s last as captain of the national T20 side, but he refused to speak more on the issue.

“Our focus is to play effectively on this World Cup and do what we have to do as a workforce,” he said.

“I’ve defined myself very actually (on Twitter). If individuals really feel there may be extra to it, then I really feel sorry for them.”

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