'He can find a spot in XI just as a finisher': Laxman backs India's 'proven match-winner' to play T20 WC tie vs Pakistan
- India vs Pakistan: Former batsman VVS Laxman has weighed in on India's Playing XI for their T20 World Cup game against Pakistan and backed Kohli's ‘proven match-winner’ to get a game.
While Pakistan have tentatively revealed their Playing XI for the T20 World Cup clash against India by naming their 12 players, Virat Kohli and Co. are yet to do the same. There has been so much read and spoken about India's Playing XI for the tournament, and especially against Pakistan, with so much depth in their unit and it will be interesting to see the 11 players India will field on Sunday.
Ahead of the warm-up match against England, captain Kohli had told the host broadcaster Star that India know what combination they are going ahead with but has remained tight-lipped ever since. However, that has not stopped experts and former cricketers from predicting their India XI with VVS Laxman backing all-rounder Hardik Pandya – who skipped India's optional practice session on the eve of the match – to find a place in the Playing XI for the blockbuster tie against Pakistan in Dubai.
"I will always back Hardik Pandya because he is a finisher and a proven match-winner. It will be great if he bowls because it will give a balance and that extra cushion to Virat Kohli as a captain, but he is an out and out match-winner. He can find a spot in the Playing XI just as a finisher and batsman," Laxman had said on Star Sports.
Laxman emphasized on the importance of mentor MS Dhoni and how his presence in the change room will benefit and work wonders for the Indian team. Calling Dhoni's presence a blessing, Laxman is confident the former India captain's vast experience will help a long way in helping the current Indian unit.
"Not only Hardik. All the Indian players look up to MS Dhoni. He has been a mentor even in his playing days. His presence in the dressing room will just add a sense of calmness and with the experience that he has got in handling pressure situations, he will be a great ally to Virat Kohli and the team management. It is a blessing for India to have Dhoni with them," added the former India batsman.