T20 World Cup: Pakistan ‘very robust’ forward of T20 blockbuster, Kohli says

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

DUBAI: Indian skipper Virat Kohli on Saturday stated they’ll tackle a “very strong” Pakistan staff of their T20 World Cup opener and downplayed their unbeaten report in opposition to 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 stated no matter their previous dominance Pakistan is and at all times has been filled with gifted gamers.

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

“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 in opposition to India, who’ve gained all 5 clashes in T20’s showpiece occasion.

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

Kohli backed his staff’s match winners together with Hardik Pandya to return good within the match 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,” stated 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 circulate.”

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 staff as a quantity six batter,”said Kohli.

“In world cricket in case you go searching there are specialists who try this job and it is extremely vital 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 match.”

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 staff,” he said.

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