India are set to kick off their 20-20 World Cup campaign against Pakistan on Sunday (October 24). The blockbuster clash promises to be a fascinating one with both teams boasting of match-winners. India skipper Virat Kohli admitted that he is not taking Pakistan lightly owing to their recent form in the shortest format.
The India skipper also feels Pakistan are a very dangerous side and boasts of X-factor players who can change the complexion of the game. “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,” Kohli said in the pre-match virtual press conference.
The Kohli-led side defeated England and Australia in the two warm-up matches and is a team with good form and momentum. The only concern for them is the fitness of all-rounder Hardik Pandya. The 28-year-old did not bowl during the warm-up games, raising concerns over his fitness. Kohli said Pandya is getting better and is ready to bowl his quota of overs during the Super 12 stage.
“I feel Hardik presently is getting better in terms of being prepared to bowl two overs for us. Till the time he starts bowling, we have created a few options for ourselves. What he offers at number 6 as a batter, we can’t create something like that overnight,” said the Indian captain.
This will be the first time the teams will meet post the 50-over World Cup in 2019. Pakistan’s dismal record against India in the World Cups should not be a parameter to judge the team as they have good experience of playing in the UAE conditions. The team has won the last 10 T20Is in this part of the world.