Team India skipper Rohit Sharma has strongly come in support of Virat Kohli ahead of the T20I series against West Indies. The newly appointed captain dismissed talks surrounding Kohli’s form and believes that the issue begins from the media itself.
Speaking at the press conference in Kolkata before the 1st T20I, Sharma claimed that Kohli is in an excellent mental space and expects his form to pick up, once the media stops with their speculation. Sharma said:
“I think it starts from you guys. If you guys (media) can keep quiet for a while, everything will be alright. If talking from your side stops, everything will be taken care of,”
“He is in a very good space and he has been part of international team for more than a decade. He has spent so much time in international cricket that he knows how to handle pressure situations,”
Sharma was clearly not pleased with the repeated questions surrounding Kohli’s poor form. The skipper had addressed this issue after the 3-0 ODI series win as well.
Sharma also spoke about Hardik Pandya’s possible return to the national team. The all-rounder was dropped after the T20 World Cup and is currently rehabilitating to bowl at regular intervals.
The 34-year-old said that the team management has not held any discussions over playing Pandya as a pure batter. Sharma added:
“Hardik is an important player. He has brings three skills into the team. We have not had any discussion over him playing as a pure batter. Doors are open for everyone. We have not fixated on anyone. In Australia, we’ll play in very different conditions. We’ll need players of different skillset. We need to prepare players accordingly, be it spin all-rounder, fast all-rounders or lower-order batters.”
Hardik Pandya could be considered for the home series against Sri Lanka. If not selected, he would be seen leading the Gujarat Titans in the IPL 2022. It is yet to be known at what capacity would he be playing for the franchise, having not bowled in a competitive fixture in a very long time.
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