New Zealand have had little to time to dwell on their T20 World Cup final heartbreak as they prepare to face India in Jaipur on Wednesday.

The Black Caps missed out being crowned world champions in the shortest format for the first time when they suffered an eight-wicket defeat to Australia at Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.

A 15-man T20 squad arrived in Jaipur less than 24 hours after that loss and they will look to take their frustration out on India in a three-match series.

Tim Southee will captain New Zealand, with Kane Williamson missing the T20s as he prioritises preparing for a two-Test series that starts on November 25.

It is the beginning of a new era for India after Rahul Dravid replaced Ravi Shastri as head coach and Virat Kohli's reign as T20 captain came to an end.

Rohit Sharma leads India for this series as they look to put the disappointment of missing out on reaching the T20 World Cup semi-finals behind them, starting with a first men’s T20I at Sawai Mansingh Stadium.

Kohli misses the series along with Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami. Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Venkatesh Iyer, Harshal Patel and Avesh Khan are among the players to come into the squad.

New Zealand hammered India by eight wickets in the World Cup, with the Black Caps having lost the previous five T20 matches between the two nations.

 

 

Black Caps set to rotate, Ferguson on the mend

Southee said such an intense schedule and spending so long in bio-secure bubbles has taken a toll on some Black Caps players, revealing how it "weighs you down".

The stand-in skipper suggested the tourists would make full use of their squad and paceman Lockie Ferguson is set to make a welcome return from a calf strain.

He said on Tuesday: "It's [squad rotation] something we have to look at throughout this series of three games in five days, with travel days in between and then a couple of days and then go into a Test series.

"The guys have to be managed throughout the series and we've got a squad of 15 here that were involved in the T20 World Cup which I'm sure we'll use throughout the T20 series."

 

Rohit wants 'fearless' approach

Rohit has never been afraid to take an aggressive approach and the skipper wants the side to take more risks with the bat at the start of a new era, with another T20 World Cup to come next year.

He said: "It's important, especially in this format, that sometimes you just need to go out there and play fearlessly and while doing that, there are chances that you might not always be successful, because it's a short format and you're always challenged.

"The pressure is always there. We certainly will keep an eye on that aspect; that's where the entire set-up will play a big part that wherever that individual bats, and how we want him to bat, goes and does the job for us. If he doesn't then we instil confidence in him that we have full faith in you, just go and do the role for the team. As long as they're trying to do the role for the team, we are happy."

Rohit has scored 352 T20I runs against New Zealand, more than any other India batsman. He made 174 runs in five World Cup knocks at an average of 34.80.

Rohit Sharma has been named captain for India's upcoming T20I series against New Zealand.

The three-match home series, which begins on November 17, will be the first since Virat Kohli's decision to step down after the T20 World Cup.

Kohli, who will stay on as ODI and Test captain, led India in the short format for the final time on Monday, as the pre-tournament favourites bowed out of the World Cup with victory over Namibia.

The 33-year-old captained his nation in 50 T20Is – winning 30 and losing 16 – while scoring 1,570 runs, including 114 boundaries and 59 sixes.

 

Kohli is one of several notable absentees from the squad to face the Black Caps next week along with Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami.

Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Venkatesh Iyer, Harshal Patel and Avesh Khan are among the players to come into the squad.

Rohit will take over as skipper – with KL Rahul as his deputy – although it is yet to be confirmed whether he will be given the role on a permanent basis.

Following his knock of 56 against Namibia, Rohit became one of only three players – along with Kohli – to reach 3,000 T20I runs, while he has averaged 32.66 in 108 innings.

 

India T20I squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan, Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj.

Virat Kohli insists he still has full motivation to continue playing for India in the T20 format, after his tenure as captaincy came to an end. 

India beat Namibia by nine wickets on Monday, in what was Kohli's last match as skipper in the shortest format of the game.

Their hopes of reaching the T20 World Cup semi-finals had already been ended on Sunday, when New Zealand beat Afghanistan to secure the last available place in the next round.

Kohli, who turned 33 last week, announced before the tournament that he would be stepping down from leading India in T20Is, though he will stay on as ODI and Test captain. 

While still eager to play a vital role for the team in T20Is, Kohli believes he has made the right decision for his career.

"Relief, firstly! It's been an honour, but things have to be kept in the right perspective and I thought that this was the right time for me to manage my workload," Kohli said at the post-match presentation.

"Six, seven years of intense cricket, every time you take the field, it takes a lot out of you. It's been amazing, so much fun, a great bunch of guys who played together for so long, we really performed well as a team.

"I know we haven't gone further in this tournament but we have played some really good cricket as a team. It's something we've all enjoyed, so many years playing together, it's absolutely made my job much easier.

"The way we played the last three games, it's a game of margins in T20 cricket. We were not brave enough in the first two games, we suffered because of that and we knew that it was going to be complicated for us to go through."

Asked if he would still retain the same hunger as he has shown as captain, Kohli replied: "For me if I can't do that, I will not play this game anymore.

"That's been my goal from day one, even when I wasn't captain, I was always keen to learn, keen to know where the game is going.

"I'm always going to be around with my point of view and anything I can do for the team, I'm not a guy who's just going to stand around and do nothing, I'll always want to give 120 per cent on the field.

With India chasing a target of 133, Kohli chose not to come out and bat after Rohit Sharma - who surpassed 3,000 runs in T20Is - was dismissed for 56, instead sending out Suryakumar Yadav, whose 25 off 19 deliveries paved the way for the excellent KL Rahul (54) to seal victory.

"Surya didn't get too much game time in this World Cup, it's a T20 World Cup at the end of the day, I thought it would be a nice memory for him to take back as well," Kohli explained.

 

Kohli's T20 tenure in numbers

Kohli has been captain of India in all formats since 2017, having taken over the limited-overs responsibilities from the great MS Dhoni.

In total, he won 30 of his 50 T20Is as skipper (60 per cent), suffering 16 defeats, while two games were tied and two matches did not finish.

India's highest score of 240-3 during his spell as captain came against the West Indies at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium in December 2019, while a low point for Kohli's team came earlier in this World Cup, when they were limited to 110-7 by New Zealand.

Pakistan, led by the supreme Babar Azam, thrashed India by 10 wickets in the Super 12s opener, and they are the only nation Kohli failed to beat in the format while captain.

Indeed, Kohli is the only Indian captain to lose a World Cup game in any format against Pakistan.

Kohli's won seven games against England, out of 11 meetings, while he also managed an impressive four wins against Australia. 

Across his 11 innings against Eoin Morgan's side, he scored 393 runs. Incredibly, he has not yet managed to score a century in the format, with his 94 not out against West Indies in 2019 his highest tally.

As T20 captain, Kohli has scored 1,570 runs from 46 innings, averaging 47.6 at a strike rate of 141. He surpassed 50 on 13 occasions, striking 114 boundaries and 59 sixes.

Virat Kohli's tenure as India captain in the shortest format came to an end with a nine-wicket victory over Namibia as his team bowed out of the T20 World Cup.

India's slim hopes of securing a semi-final place were dashed on Sunday when New Zealand beat Afghanistan, meaning Monday's match in Dubai, the final game of the Super 12s stage, was Kohli's last as T20 skipper.

Kohli, who turned 33 last week, is stepping down from leading India in T20Is, though he will stay on as ODI and Test captain. Coach Ravi Shastri is also leaving his role.

Having won the toss and elected to field first, Kohli decided not to come out ahead of Suryakumar Yadav after Rohit Sharma was caught behind on 56, with the opener having surpassed 3,000 runs in T20Is as India chased down a target of 133.

It was a decent effort from tournament debutants Namibia, who batted for their 20 allotted overs and lost eight wickets, with Stephan Baard (21) and David Wiese (26) the pick of their batsmen.

Ravindra Jadeja (3-16) led India's bowling attack – Ravichandran Ashwin (3-20) and Jasprit Bumrah (2-19) providing support – though Mohammed Shami (0-39) was unusually vulnerable.

KL Rahul (54) and Rohit swiftly set about knocking into Namibia's total, however, with the latter joining Kohli as just one of three players to reach 3,000 T20I runs when he moved onto 18.

Rohit's dismissal might have meant Kohli got in for a final flourish with the bat as skipper, but it was Suryakumar who instead came to the crease, scoring 25 off 19 balls before the excellent Rahul sealed victory with a wonderful shot down the ground.

 

Fifty and out for Kohli, a new era for India

"It's been an honour for me. I was given the opportunity and I've tried to do my best. It's time for me to try and create some space and prioritise things and move forward," said Kohli at the toss.

Monday's match was his 50th T20I as captain. India have won 30 of those and lost 16. The highest total India scored under his leadership was 240-3 against the West Indies in 2019, while ahead of the Namibia game, they had averaged 164 runs across 47 innings.

History for Rohit

It had been coming, but Rohit finally joined the exclusive 3,000-run club in T20Is. Across 108 innings, he has averaged 32.66, struck four centuries and 24 half-centuries.

Rohit has been mooted as Kohli's potential successor as captain. There cannot be too many better candidates.

Virat Kohli lauded India's performance in an eight-wicket win over Scotland, though they will need luck on their side to reach the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup.

India skittled Scotland for 85 in Dubai before KL Rahul (50) and Rohit Sharma (30) set them well on their way to a resounding, but crucial, victory.

Kohli, playing on his 33rd birthday, nosed two singles, with Suryakumar Yadav hitting the winning six as India sealed the triumph in 6.3 overs.

India moved up to third in Group 2 and have a superior net run rate when compared to second-placed New Zealand, who are two points to the good.

It means India need a favour from Afghanistan, who take on New Zealand in their last outing, while also having to get the job done themselves against Namibia.

While Kohli regrets the mistakes that have put India in such a perilous position – his side having lost to Pakistan and New Zealand in their opening two games – he was thrilled with the display on Friday.

"A dominating performance. It was something we were striving to do again," he said at the post-match presentation.

"I don't want to say too much about today because we know how we can play. These little things in T20 cricket... the toss, conditions matter, and we're glad to be back in our mojo. We spoke about [limiting Scotland to] 100, 120 maximum, but we restricted them to a total that allowed us to leapfrog everyone else.

"We spoke about finishing in the eight to 10 over bracket. You don't want to go in with six-and-a-half or a seven-and-a-half run [per over] mark because then you're doing too much.

"If you look at our practice games as well, the guys have been batting like that. Two overs of cricket like that [earlier in the competition] and the momentum of the tournament could have been completely different."

Kohli's counterpart Kyle Coetzer reflected on his side having learned a stern lesson.

"A tough day in the office, we were outclassed in every department," the Scotland captain said.

"But the only way we'll improve is going through games like that and seeing it head on."

While India are battling for the last four, Scotland remain winless and sit bottom of Group 2, with Pakistan to come in their final game.

India kept their hopes of progressing to the T20 World Cup semi-finals alive with an eight-wicket win over Scotland in Dubai.

Virat Kohli turned 33 on Friday, and his team handed the captain a birthday gift with a brilliant display against the minnows.

With New Zealand having beaten Namibia to move onto six points in Group 2, India needed a big win to maintain their slim semi-final hopes.

Kohli won the toss and chose to field, and though George Munsey – who hit a six off the first over – started brightly, his knock of 24 from 19 deliveries was the highest score any Scotland batsman managed.

Scotland were skittled out for just 85, Mohammed Shami finishing with figures of 3-15, identical to those of Ravindra Jadeja, while Jasprit Bumrah took 2-10. Shami began the 17th over with wickets from the first three balls, including a run out.

The bowling performance paved the way for a swift India success, led by the magnificent KL Rahul, who hit 50 from 19 balls before looping a shot down the ground to Calum MacLeod from Mark Watt's enticing delivery.

Rahul's fellow opener Rohit Sharma – aiming to become just the third player to reach 3,000 T20I runs – reached 30 before succumbing lbw to Brad Wheal.

Kohli ticked over two singles before a huge six from Suryakumar Yadav sealed India's success after just 6.3 overs.

Rahul and Rohit sparkle

India's openers raced to the fastest team 50 in the tournament, taking just 23 balls to reach that mark.

Rohit is now just 18 runs short of joining team-mate Kohli and New Zealand's Martin Guptill in the 3,000-runs club, though he may well only have one more shot at that this tournament. His partner Rahul dazzled, hitting three sixes and a further six boundaries in a sensational show of quality.

India need a New Zealand slip-up

There is real jeopardy in Group 2, and a big team will miss out on going any further. Pakistan top the standings with eight points from their four games, so are assured of their place in the semi-finals.

India, who round off their Super 12 campaign against Namibia, are now on four points, two behind New Zealand, but they have a much better run rate of 1.62 compared to 1.28 for the Black Caps, who face Afghanistan (another side on fourth points) in their last game. It is all to play for.

Rahul Dravid will replace Ravi Shastri as India head coach after the T20 World Cup.

Shastri's reign will come to an end following the tournament in the United Arab Emirates and the Board of Control for Cricket in India last month invited applications for the post.

Legendary former India batter Dravid was expected to succeed Shastri and his appointment was confirmed while India were playing Afghanistan in a crucial World Cup match on Wednesday.

Dravid, 48, will start his tenure with a home T20I series versus New Zealand this month followed by two Tests against the Black Caps.

Shastri took over as head coach of his country for a second time in 2017 and helped guide India to the top of the Test rankings and an inaugural World Test Championship against New Zealand, which the Black Caps won this year.

Dravid said: "It is an absolute honour to be appointed as the new head coach of the Indian Cricket Team and I am really looking forward to this role.

"Under Mr Shastri, the team has done very well, and I hope to work with the team to take this forward. Having worked closely with most of the boys either at NCA, U19 and India A setup, I know they have the passion and desire to improve every day.

"There are some marquee multi-team events in the next two years, and I look forward to working with the players and the support staff to achieve our potential."

Sourav Ganguly, president of the BCCI, said: "The BCCI welcomes Rahul Dravid as the head coach of India's senior men team.

"Rahul has had an illustrious playing career and is one of the greats of the game. He has also served Indian cricket as head of National Cricket Academy (NCA) with distinction. Rahul’s effort at the NCA has nurtured several young cricketing talents who have gone on to represent the country at the international stage.

"I am hopeful that his new stint will take Indian cricket to new heights."

Virat Kohli accused his India team-mates of a lack of courage after defeat to New Zealand left them on the brink of elimination from the T20 World Cup.

India went down by eight wickets against the Black Caps on Sunday as they produced another meek display following the 10-wicket thrashing by Pakistan in their opening game.

The pre-tournament favourites posted a modest 110-7 from their 20 overs and the Kiwis knocked it off with 33 balls to spare at the Dubai International Stadium.

Kohli's side now need to beat Afghanistan, Scotland and Namibia, and hope results elsewhere go their way to become one of the two teams in their group to progress to the semi-finals.

"I don't think we were brave enough with bat or ball," India captain Kohli said in the post-match presentation.

"With the ball, I mean, obviously we didn't have much to play with, but we were just not brave enough with our body language when we entered the field. 

"New Zealand had better intensity, better body language, and they created pressure on us from the first over onwards, really, and continued that through the innings.

"Every time we felt like we wanted to take a chance [while batting], we lost a wicket. That happens in T20 cricket, but that's most probably or most often the result of that little bit of hesitation with the bat, when you feel like should you go for the shot or not."

New Zealand recorded a third straight victory over India at T20 World Cups, having previously prevailed when they met in 2007 and 2016, as the Men in Blue lost successive T20Is outside India for the first time.

Kohli claimed India's players have been affected by the burden of expectation on them from millions of fans back home and failed to cope with the pressure that brings.

"When you play for the Indian cricket team, you obviously have a lot of expectations, everyone knows that – not only from the fans but from the players themselves," he explained.

"Wherever we play, we are watched, people come to the stadiums to support us, so there's always going to be more with our games, that's always been the case. 

"We've embraced it over the years, and everyone who plays for the Indian team obviously has to embrace that as well, and learn how to cope with it.

"And when you cope with that as a team, you tend to overcome that pressure and those tough situations. And we haven't, in these two games, and that's why we haven't won.

"There's only one way to play T20 cricket – you have to be optimistic, you have to be positive, take calculated risks, and that's what this format is all about.

"Just because you're the Indian cricket team and there's expectations, doesn't mean that you start playing the format differently."

India bowler Jasprit Bumrah has suggested that an aggressive batting approach was the cause of their eight-wicket defeat to New Zealand in the T20 World Cup.

After the pre-tournament favourites only posted 110-7 from their 20 overs, Bumrah and his fellow bowlers could not stop their opponents from easing to their target for the cost of just two wickets and with five and a half overs to spare.

Sunday's result is India's second loss in as many games and leaves their hopes of qualifying hanging by a thread.

It follows the 10-wicket hammering at the hands of rivals Pakistan in their opening game, and means that India will need to win well against Afghanistan, Scotland and Namibia, while hoping for favourable results from elsewhere.

Virat Kholi's team had no answer to the power of the Black Caps, and instead of the Indian captain, it was Bumrah who faced the post-match press conference.

When asked about the first innings, Bumrah said: "We wanted to get extra runs that could give us an advantage in the second innings. I think in that process we played a lot of attacking shots. That didn't come off today.

"I think that was the approach as a batting unit because in the second innings, batting does get easier. So we wanted to give that cushion to the bowlers. I think that was the thought process. I think in that thought process, there were a lot of attack issues."


Bumrah - who took the only two wickets in the New Zealand innings - was also asked about the scheduling of the tournament, with India's opener against Pakistan coming just nine days after the final of the Indian Premier League, and the requirement for players to be on the road for such long periods in bubbles.

"Absolutely. Sometimes you need a break. You miss your family sometimes," he added. "You've been on the road for six months. So all of that sometimes plays on the back of your mind.

"But when you're on the field, you don't think of all those things. You don't control a lot of things, how the scheduling goes on or what tournament is played when.

"So obviously staying in a bubble and staying away from your family for such a long period of time does play a role on the player's mind as well. But they also tried their best to make us feel comfortable.

"But this is the time which we're living in right now. It's a difficult time. There's a pandemic going on. So we try to adapt. But sometimes bubble fatigue, mental fatigue also creeps in, that you're doing the same thing again and again and again.

"So it is the way it is, and you can't control a lot of it here."

The 27-year-old made clear that he and his team-mates should not focus on the negatives, and urged calmness. 

"As a sportsman, you face a lot of days in cricket. Some days will be good and some days would be bad. What I try to do is not get very high when good days happen and not get very low when low days happen," Bumrah said.

"All of these things are always part and parcel of a cricketer's life. Try to stay in the moment, analyse what went wrong, what went well and try to move forward. That's the only way that you can move forward in this game."

New Zealand landed their first win at this year's T20 World Cup after defeating India by eight wickets in the Group 2 clash at the Dubai International Stadium.

Trent Boult took three wickets – taking his T20I career tally to 50 – as the Black Caps recorded a third straight victory over India at the tournament, having previously prevailed when they met in 2007 and 2016.

After Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to field, Boult dismissed Ishan Kishan (4), Hardik Pandya (23) and Shardul Thakur (0).

He also caught Virat Kohli for nine from Ish Sodhi’s delivery, as India posted a total of 110-7, which proved much too low.

Daryl Mitchell led New Zealand's charge with 49 from 35 balls, while Martin Guptill had a knock of 20 in his 100th T20I innings.

Captain Williamson coasted to 33 not out as the Black Caps secured a commanding victory with 5.3 overs to spare, condemning their opponents to a fourth successive T20I defeat outside India for the first time. India could still reach the semi-finals, but it will take a huge turnaround in fortunes after losing their opening two games.


Brilliant Boult reaches the half-century

The 32-year-old left-arm quick captured 3-20 during another impressive performance for the Black Caps.

Reaching 50 T20I wickets, Boult became the fifth New Zealand bowler to achieve the feat after Tim Southee, Sodhi, Mitchell Santner and Nathan McCullum.

Ton up for Guptill

The batsman chalked up his 100th innings in the short format for the Black Caps, but it was his exploits in the field that were more important here.

The 35-year-old took catches to remove Pandya, Thakur and Rohit Sharma.

Virat Kohli will not press the panic button after Pakistan defeated his India side in a 10-wicket thumping at the T20 World Cup.

India had lost just one of their last eight T20I meetings with Pakistan while they had collected five successive T20 World Cup wins but Azam's side prevailed in their Super 12 Group 2 opener.

Kohli's 57 – his 29th half-century in the format in which he is the leading run scorer in history (3,216) – guided India to 151-7.

However, India had lost all eight games defending 160 or lower and that trend continued Sunday.

Babar Azam and Mohammed Rizwan combined for a 152-run opening stand, the highest opening partnership against India and the second-highest in the history of the competition, to see Pakistan to a maiden victory over India in the competition.

Yet despite conceding Pakistan outclassed his side, Kohli insisted India would not begin to worry in the early stages of the tournament.

"We did not execute the things that we wanted to but credit is certainly due – they outplayed us today," Kohli said at the post-match presentation.

"When you lose three early it's very difficult to come back, especially when you know the dew is coming. They were very professional with the bat as well. 

"Hitting through the line was not as easy in the first half as it seemed in the Pakistan innings, so when you know the conditions can change, you need 10-20 extra runs. 

"But some quality bowling from Pakistan didn't let us get off the blocks. We're certainly not a team that presses the panic button, it's the start of the tournament, not the end."

Meanwhile, Azam – who is the leading scorer in the last three years of T20I cricket with 1,241 runs – credited Shaheen Afridi's excellent opening bowling spell in which he managed 3-31, while also praising his opening partner Rizwan.

"We executed our plans well and the early wickets were very helpful," Azam said after Kohli had spoken. 

"Shaheen's wickets gave us a lot of confidence and the spinners dominated as well. The plan with Rizwan is always to keep it simple. We tried to get deep in the crease and from about the 8th over the dew came in and the ball came on nicely. 

"This is just the start, we have the confidence to build on now. It will remain match by match for us. 

"The pressure on us wasn't that much - we weren't thinking of the record against India at all. I only wanted to back all our players who've been preparing well. 

"When you play tournaments before a big World Cup, it helps and our players came in with a lot of confidence because of that."

Babar Azam and Mohammed Rizwan both scored half-centuries as Pakistan recorded their first ever T20 World Cup win over India with a 10-wicket triumph.

India had lost just one of their last eight T20I meetings with Pakistan while they had collected five successive T20 World Cup wins – the joint longest streak in the competition.

But Shaheen Afridi (3-31) gave his country early hope as he struck twice to remove both Rohit Sharma for a first-ball duck and KL Rahul (three), with Hasan Ali (2-44) dismissing Suryakumar Yadav (11) to leave India 36-3 at the end of the powerplay.

However, captain Virat Kohli (57) – who has scored the most runs in men's T20I history (3,216) - responded emphatically as he registered his 29th half-century in the format to lift his side to 151-7 at the end of their 20-over allocation.

Kohli's side had lost all eight T20Is in which they posted a first-innings total under 160 since 2018 and that trend looked set to continue as Azam (68 not out) and Rizwan (79 not out) enjoyed a century opening stand inside 13 overs.

The openers motored on as they managed the highest opening partnership ever against India, Azam taking 40 balls to reach his half-century and Rizwan taking one delivery more before the former sealed victory with 13 balls to spare in their first Super 12 Group 2 game.

India's openers struggle

Rohit, who has hit the second-most sixes in the history of the competition (133), offered India experience at the top of the order but his tournament got off to the worst start as he was removed lbw for a golden duck.

His opening partner, Rahul, did not last much longer as the Punjab Kings captain disappointed following warm-up scores of 51 and 39 after his blistering 98 not out in his final IPL 2021 game.

Magical Azam continues remarkable form

In the last three years, no one has scored more T20I runs than Azam's 1,241. Kohli is second on the list, with 1,050.

The Pakistan leader produced a captain's knock to see his side over the line in a famous victory, perfectly kick-starting their World Cup campaign as he smashed six fours and two maximums for his 68.

Virat Kohli says Hardik Pandya can make a big impact for India as a specialist batsman in the T20 World Cup as "you cannot create overnight" what the India all-rounder brings at number six.

Pandya continues to be troubled by a long-standing back injury but will be in the India side for their first match of the World Cup against fierce rivals Pakistan at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.

India captain Kohli is backing Pandya to deliver with the bat for the tournament favourites despite his lack of runs in the Indian Premier League.

Kohli said: "Honestly, I feel that Hardik presently with his physical condition is getting better in terms of being prepared to bowl at least two overs for us at a certain stage in this tournament.

"We strongly feel that we can make the most of the opportunity at hand until the time he starts bowling, we've considered a couple of other options to chip in for an over or two.

"So, we're not bothered about that at all. What he brings at that number six spot is something you cannot create overnight."

Pakistan have lost all five of their T20 World Cup matches against India - including the final in the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2007.

Yet Babar Azam's side are on an 11-match T20 winning streak in the United Arab Emirates and the skipper says they can get the better of their biggest rivals in their Super 12 Group 2 opener.

Babar said: "We have forgotten what happened in the past and we are trying to focus on the future. We want to use our ability and confidence on the day of the match so that we can get a better result.

"Records are meant to be broken. The matches between Pakistan and India are always full of intensity so we need to perform well in all three departments of the game.

"The boys are excited to play the World Cup and we have a crucial match on Sunday. A winning impact is necessary and then we will go match by match."

England and India will complete their interrupted Test series in July 2022, but Old Trafford will not stage the fifth match between the teams.

Concern over a rising number of cases of COVID-19 in the India camp caused the match to be called off on September 10.

Rather than being staged at Lancashire's home ground, however, the fixture has been switched to be played at Edgbaston in Birmingham.

The England and Wales Cricket Board said in a statement: "The match, which was due to take place last month at Emirates Old Trafford, was called off when India were unable to field a team due to fears of a further increase in the number of COVID-19 cases inside the camp.

"With India leading the series 2-1, the concluding fifth match will now take place from July 1, 2022, at Edgbaston, following an agreement between the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)."

The ECB cited "complexities in the schedule" that meant Old Trafford could not host the rescheduled match, pointing to "clashes with pre-planned events at the venue, which will leave insufficient time to prepare a Test pitch".

Those events have not been specified; however, rock band Foo Fighters are due to play a concert at the cricket stadium on June 25.

Old Trafford will still get a Test match next year, with the second match of England's series against South Africa being switched from Edgbaston to the Manchester venue, with that match due to start on August 25.

The start of the planned T20I and ODI series between England and India has been set back by six days due to the Test being planted in the diary, and the T20I games will get under way on July 7 at the Ageas Bowl.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said of the fixture shake-up: "We are very pleased that we have reached an agreement with BCCI to creating a fitting end to what has been a brilliant series so far."

BCCI honorary secretary Mr Jay Shah said: "I am delighted that the England-India Test series will now have its rightful conclusion. The four Test matches were riveting, and we needed a fitting finale."

Sri Lanka eased to a straightforward seven-wicket victory over Namibia in their opening match of the T20 World Cup on Monday.

Namibia were dismissed for just 96 runs after being put into bat first, and Sri Lanka ultimately eclipsed that total as early as the 14th over.

Maheesh Theekshana was a key part of the Sri Lanka attack, taking Stephan Baard on his first delivery, before also claiming the scalps of Zane Green and Jan Frylinck, ending the day at 3-25.

Craig Williams (29) was the only Namibian to get more than 20, though his haul was hardly emphatic given it came off 36 balls and included just two boundaries.

Sri Lanka's innings did not start particularly impressively given they were 26-3 after the first ball of the sixth over, but Avishka Fernando (30 not out) and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (42 not out) had a steadying impact as they got them over the line at 100-3.

The day's early Group A match saw Ireland win in similarly comprehensive fashion against the Netherlands, with the bowlers again having the decisive impact during a seven-wicket victory.

Curtis Campher (4-26) incredibly took all four of his wickets in succession to leave the Dutch in disarray, becoming only the third man after Lasith Malinga and Rashid Khan to achieve the feat in a T20I, while Mark Adair was even more efficient with figures of 3-9 in his four overs.

Like Campher, Adair's treble came in a row and right at the end as the Netherlands could only set a target of 106.

Paul Stirling (30 not out) kept things ticking over throughout with a professional – if unspectacular – knock, but Gareth Delany (44) top scored for the Irish. By the time he was eventually stopped by Pieter Seelaar's yorker, Ireland only needed another 12 runs.

Elsewhere, several of the tournament favourites were in action in warm-up matches. India beat England by seven wickets with six balls remaining partly down to swift 50s by KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan, while Australia's 159-7 saw them defeat New Zealand with one ball left.

South Africa enjoyed a comfortable 41-run win over Afghanistan and Pakistan defeated the West Indies by seven wickets in a little over 15 overs.

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