Virat Kohli has hit out at an "appalling" invasion of privacy after an intruder posted a video taken from inside the former India captain's hotel room on social media.

In a video reportedly taken on October 8, two days after India arrived in Perth for a preparatory camp ahead of the T20 World Cup, an anonymous social media user filmed himself walking around Kohli's room.

Kohli made details of the video, captioned "King Kohli's hotel room", public after India's final match in Perth against South Africa, saying the intrusion had made him "paranoid". 

"I understand that fans get very happy and excited seeing their favourite players and get excited to meet them, and I've always appreciated that," Kohli wrote on Instagram.

"But this video here is appalling and it's made me feel very paranoid about my privacy. If I cannot have privacy in my own hotel room, then where can I really expect any personal space at all?

"I'm not okay with this kind of fanaticism and absolute invasion of privacy. Please respect people's privacy and not treat them as a commodity for entertainment."

Crown Resorts, which manages the hotel, subsequently apologised for the incident and said the contractors involved had been stood down from their duties.

Australia batsman David Warner replied to Kohli's post to lament the incident as "ridiculous" and "totally unacceptable", while the International Cricket Council said it was "incredibly disappointed by the gross invasion of privacy".

India captain Rohit Sharma was left frustrated by his team's erratic fielding after Sunday's five-wicket defeat to South Africa.

Aiden Markram's 52 and David Miller's unbeaten 59 guided the Proteas to victory at Perth Stadium in a thrilling, but low-scoring, T20 World Cup clash.

South Africa's bowling attack – spearheaded by pace duo Wayne Parnell (3-15) and Lungi Ngidi (4-29) – reduced India to 133-9 in their 20 overs, with Suryakumar Yadav (68) the only batsman to offer any firm resistance.

Yet India had hope when Quinton de Kock, Rilee Rossouw and Temba Bavuma all fell in the first six overs of South Africa's chase. Miller and Markram subsequently steadied the ship for the Proteas, yet the latter was fortunate.

Rohit and Suryakumar both missed run-out attempts, while Markram was dropped by Kohli in the deep. Indeed, he brought up his half-century with a sliced shot that landed between two fielders on the boundary.

It was a collective effort that disappointed Rohit, who said: "I thought we fought well until the end, but South Africa played well. The pitch is such that the wicket can come any time for the seamers. It was a match-winning partnership from Miller and Markram.

"But we were not good enough on the field. We have played in such conditions, so conditions are not an excuse. We want to be consistent in that department.

"We could not hold on to our chances, we missed a few run-outs, including myself."

The victory moved South Africa top of Group 2, with the Proteas having taken five points from their opening three matches.

However, while Markram and Miller starred with the bat and Parnell and Ngidi were brilliant with the ball, it was another tough day for captain Bavuma, who scored only 10 before edging Mohammed Shami to Dinesh Karthik.

Bavuma has struggled for form in T20Is this year, with Sunday's short-lived knock only the third time he has reached double figures from 10 innings.

Former Proteas captain Markram, however, had words of support for his skipper.

"I think every player goes through these sort of form slumps," Markram said in a press conference when asked about Bavuma's struggles. "With games that are so close to each other, it can seem a lot worse than what it is.

"I think the whole team, management involved, have been there for Temba and our ideas don't change about his ability. We all know his ability and our team and the role that he plays, not just from batting, but also from a leadership point of view as well.

"His leadership in my opinion has been excellent. On-field decisions have been really good that he's making. So I've got no doubt he'll come right with the bat. If he does, and we can get off to some good starts, I think it's going to help our batting unit a lot, but certainly not doubting his ability at all.

"I think the whole team, and I can speak on behalf of the team, we all support him. It happens to everyone. We've all been through it. I've been through it more than once, unfortunately. It's always just one knock away, and that's sort of the message that Temba has been given for the time being."

South Africa possess the bowling variety that can bring down India in Perth, according to in-form paceman Anrich Nortje.

Sunday's tussle will be the third game for both teams at the T20 World Cup, and neither has lost so far.

India posted wins over Pakistan and Netherlands, while South Africa had an abandonment against Zimbabwe before a crushing victory against Bangladesh.

Nortje took 4-10 in that hammering of the Tigers, his best bowling performance in a T20I, after a brilliant century from Rilee Rossouw.

Bangladesh were rolled over for 101, and Nortje believes such a skittling is a reflection of the quality within the Proteas ranks.

Now a Perth Stadium battle awaits with India, whose strong start has seen them earmarked by many as trophy favourites.

Nortje said: "We back ourselves. We see ourselves as one of the best pace attacks there is.

"We've got a great variety. We cover a lot of aspects. We cover a lot of bases with our attack. So definitely as a pace attack, we definitely back ourselves against any team to go out and do what we have to do on the day, to try and get over the line.

"Then we've got two gun spinners [Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi] as well. I'm sure the boys are looking forward to tomorrow.

"But yes, something you work your life towards is to bowl fast, to be able to bowl fast and be one of the fastest. It's a nice feeling, but I just have to focus on the job ahead and what we have to do rather than looking at the speed."

India's Virat Kohli is just 28 runs short of becoming the record run-scorer in T20 World Cup history, with Sri Lanka great Mahela Jayawardene (1,016 runs) presently top of that list.

South Africa will hope to keep the shackles on Kohli, who has been in dazzling form with a sublime 82 not out and an unbeaten 62 in his two knocks, and Nortje says he and his team-mates know their responsibilities.

"Everyone knows what to do on the day, and it's a factor that we've been playing for such a long time and guys have been gelling really well," Nortje said.

"We feel the last two seasons it's been a great team, and hopefully we can win the cup."

Virat Kohli made another half-century as India took another step towards the T20 World Cup semi-finals with a 56-run victory over Netherlands at the SCG.

Kohli's magnificent unbeaten 82 gave India a dramatic win over Pakistan on Sunday and he followed that up with 62 from 44 balls as India posted 179-2 in Sydney on Thursday.

Captain Rohit Sharma struck 53 from 39 deliveries after being dropped by Tim Pringle on 13 and Suryakumar Yadav (51 not out off 25) also made a half-century to leave the Dutch facing a substantial run chase.

Netherlands never looked like pulling off a huge upset, falling short on 123-9 as they suffered defeat in as many Super 12 matches.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2-9) took the wicket of Vikramjit Singh and did not conceded a run in his first two overs, while Axar Patel (2-18), Ravichandran Ashwin (2-21) and Arshdeep Singh (2-37) also impressed with the ball.

Victory for India moved them a point ahead of South Africa, who hammered Bangladesh by 104 runs earlier in the day, at the top of Group 2.

 

Kohli goes back-to-back, Suryakumar shows his class

A Kohli masterclass gave India a sensational victory over Pakistan at the MCG and the former captain carried on where he left off in another classy knock.

He reached his half-century in 37 balls, hitting two sixes and finding the rope three times in another high-quality innings.

Suryakumar, number three in the T20I batting rankings, hit seven fours and reached his half-century by launching the final ball of the innings from Logan van Beek for six.

The brilliance of Bhuvneshwar 

India also demonstrated the potency of their bowling attack and it was Bhuvneshwar who set the tone.

He bowled back-to-back maidens and cleaned up before returning to get rid of captain Scott Edwards in his second spell.

Virat Kohli produced what captain Rohit Sharma hailed as one of the greatest innings by an India batsman in the dramatic victory over Pakistan at the T20 World Cup.

Pakistan looked to be well in control after tallying 159-8 in front of over 90,000 spectators at the MCG and then reducing India to 31-4 in reply.

However, Kohli struck 82 not out, sharing in a fifth-wicket stand of 113 with Hardik Pandya along the way.

When Pakistan's Mohammad Nawaz wobbled under the pressure of delivering the final over of the match, India took advantage and snatched a four-wicket win over their great rivals with a single from the final ball.

India needed 28 from eight balls at one stage, but consecutive sixes from Kohli off Haris Rauf at the end of the 19th over changed that to 16 from six.

Amid high drama as India lost both Pandya (40) and Dinesh Karthik (1) in the closing over, Kohli helped the team he used to skipper over the line.

Rohit said of Kohli's effort: "It is definitely his best for sure. From the situation we were in, and to come out with victory, I think it has to be one of India's best knocks, not just his best knock.

"Because still in the 13th over we were so behind the game and the required rate was climbing up and up. To come out and chase that score was an extremely brilliant effort from Virat, and Hardik played a role there."

Kohli ceded the white-ball captaincy to Rohit soon after last year's T20 World Cup, and Sunday's hero in Melbourne had been struggling for runs until recently finding a little spark.

Rohit said: "We know the qualities that he has, and he's done so well in these type of conditions in all three forms, so obviously he used his experience today more than anything else – staying calm under pressure.

"We know how good he is when the score is in front of him. He's one of the best chasers in the world, so I thought that 100-run partnership was a game-changing moment."

Kohli initially struggled to contextualise what he achieved.

He said at the post-match presentation: "It's a surreal atmosphere, I have no words, no idea how that happened. I am really lost for words.

"The calculation was simple. Nawaz had one over to bowl, so if I could take Haris down, they would panic. From 28 in eight, it came down to 16 in six. I tried to stick to my instincts."

On reflection, Kohli agreed it rated as one of his finest innings. He ranked it even above another famous 82 not out – one that he scored against Australia in Mohali, in the 2016 edition of this competition.

"Standing here, I just feel like it was meant to be," he said. "Till today, Mohali was my best innings, against Australia. Today, I will count this one higher."

Hosts Australia head into the T20 World Cup as defending champions, but no team has ever won back-to-back editions of this tournament.

The showpiece for international cricket's shortest format has provided some spectacular moments since South Africa staged the first edition 15 years ago.

West Indies are the only team to have carried off the trophy twice, and their long-time ring master Chris Gayle is absent this time, having not featured since the Caribbean side bowed out of the T20 World Cup last year.

With Gayle all but retired from internationals, and with others shuffling away, new stars will emerge over the coming weeks, and some established figures will be chasing records.

Here, Stats Perform looks at the T20 World Cup's top performers, and the spectacular feats from tournaments gone by that the class of 2022 will have in their sights.

Batters bid to go big in post-Gayle era

Sri Lanka great Mahela Jayawardene is the only batter to have topped 1,000 runs in the history of the T20 World Cup, reaching 1,016 from 31 innings, spanning 2007 to 2014. He went out on a sensational high, passing the 1,000-run barrier in the final as Sri Lanka won the 2014 title by beating India in Mirpur.

Windies great Gayle sits second on that list with 965 runs, and is the only batter to have made two centuries in T20 World Cups. Those were also the fastest two tons in T20 World Cup history (47 balls v England in 2016, 50 balls v South Africa in 2007).

There are a number of batters who could join Jayawardene in reaching 1,000 runs at the T20 World Cup, but principal among them are the India pair of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.

Rohit replaced Kohli as skipper at the end of last year, following India's failure to get past the Super 12 stage at the World Cup, and there could be a friendly rivalry emerging in the race for four figures.

Rohit enters the tournament for top-ranked India on 847 runs in past editions, while Kohli has 845. Strikingly, Rohit's runs have come from 30 innings at an average of 38.50, whereas Kohli has plundered his in just 19 innings, and the latter's average of 76.81 is by far and away the best among all batters with 500-plus runs in the competition.

It helps, of course, that Kohli has finished unbeaten in eight of those knocks. The next highest average among such players is former England batter Kevin Pietersen's 44.61 (580 runs from 15 innings, two unbeaten).

The highest score by any batter in a single innings at the T20 World Cup remains the 123 that Brendon McCullum, now England's Test head coach, plundered for New Zealand against Bangladesh in Pallekele at the 2012 tournament. That was McCullum's highest score across his entire T20I career.

David Warner is another who could make it to 1,000 runs, but the Australia opener will need a big tournament to make that happen. He goes in on 762 runs from 30 prior innings, Cricinfo statistics show.

Only one batter has reached 500 T20 World Cup runs without making a fifty, and that was former India captain MS Dhoni, who skippered the team to the 2007 title. His best score in 29 innings, from which he accumulated 529 runs, was a modest 45.

Pakistan's Babar Azam dazzled at the 2021 T20 World Cup, scoring a tournament-high 303 runs in six innings.

His four half-centuries matched the most by any player in an edition of the tournament, the ICC said, having been previously achieved in 2014 by Kohli and in 2007 by Matthew Hayden.

Shakib, Mendis and Campher set standards for bowling elite

Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan is something of a T20 World Cup superstar. As well as ranking eighth on the run-scoring list (698 from 31 innings), the all-rounder has taken more wickets than anyone, with 41 at an average of 17.29.

A haul of 11 at the 2021 tournament took him top of the list, and there is nobody threatening to get particularly close to the 35-year-old spinner.

Among players selected for this tournament, the player with the next highest wicket haul is India's Ravichandran Ashwin, with 26 from 18 matches.

When it comes to T20 cricket, unsurprisingly there have been precious few five-wicket hauls, given the bowlers each have just a four-over allocation.

Sri Lanka's Ajantha Mendis is the only bowler to have snagged six in an innings, taking princely figures of 6-8 against Zimbabwe in 2012, while eight others have taken five wickets in a match, headed by Rangana Herath's remarkable 5-3 against New Zealand at the 2014 tournament, when the Black Caps were skittled for 60.

That ranks as the fourth-lowest team score in a T20 World Cup, with Netherlands responsible for the two worst totals, both times folding against Sri Lanka when making 39 at Chattogram in 2014 and 44 in Sharjah last year.

The other side to post a sub-60 score were West Indies, routed for 55 by England in Dubai 12 months ago.

A hat-trick represents the holy grail for all bowlers, and there have been just four in T20 World Cups, with Brett Lee taking the first for Australia against Bangladesh at the inaugural 2007 tournament.

There were no more until the 2021 tournament, which incredibly featured three: Curtis Campher took four wickets in four balls for Ireland against Netherlands, before Wanindu Hasaranga (for Sri Lanka against South Africa) and Kagiso Rabada (for South Africa against England) both managed three in three.

David Miller's stunning century proved to be in vain as India earned a 16-run victory over South Africa to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in their T20I series.

India cruised to an eight-wicket win in the low-scoring opener on Wednesday, but the runs flowed in Guwahati on Sunday as Suryakumar Yadav (61) and KL Rahul (57) helped the hosts post an imposing 237-3.

Suryakumar and Rahul both hit half-centuries in the first match, and they were at it again as South Africa's bowling attack failed to get control of the match, with only Keshav Maharaj (2-23) picking up wickets as the likes of Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi struggled.

India's score was their fourth-highest in T20Is, aided by important innings from captain Rohit Sharma (43) and Virat Kohli's unbeaten 49. Yadav's runs, meanwhile, came from just 22 balls, five of which he despatched for six.

South Africa's chase started woefully, as captain Temba Bavuma and Rilee Rossouw were both dismissed for nought by Arshdeep Singh in the second over.

Quinton de Kock and Miller fought to keep South Africa in the game, as former captain De Kock made a snappy 69 not out while Miller hit 106no from 47 balls.

Despite those efforts, the Proteas never truly threatened to chase the challenging total as they lost the series with a game left to play, finishing on 221-3. The third match takes place on Tuesday in Indore.

Record-setting Suryakumar

Suryakumar became the fastest player to reach 1,000 T20I runs in terms of balls faced, as he hit five fours and as many maximums to post his second half-century in a row.

He reached 1,000 T20I runs in 573 balls, 31 fewer than the previous record-holder Glenn Maxwell required, and helped India to set a huge target as the Proteas bowlers were carted to all parts.

Rabada struggles to make a dent

A key member of South Africa's pace attack, Rabada failed to make a significant impact as he finished with figures of 0-57 in his four overs.

The most expensive of the visitors' bowlers, Rabada was hit for 10 boundaries as India stormed to a total out of South Africa's reach.

Fit-again captain Temba Bavuma is not interested in "sideshows" as he prepares to lead South Africa in a three-match Twenty20 International series against India.

Bavuma has not played for his country since suffering an elbow injury during a T20I series in India three months ago which ended 2-2.

The batter has since spoken of feeling "let down" after he was not selected for the inaugural SA20 auction this month.

Questions have been asked over Bavuma's credentials in the shortest format less than a month before the T20 World Cup in Australia begins.

The Proteas skipper is ignoring such "distractions" ahead of the opening T20I against the top-ranked side in the world at Greenfield Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.

He said: "I've tried to put all those things behind me. My biggest focus is on the role that I have, which is to lead and serve the team as best as I can, make sure that the guys are in the best place possible going into that big World Cup tournament.

"All other distractions, all other sideshows, that's stuff that I'll deal with on a personal level, but now, here, being within the team, as long as I'm still wearing that shirt, it will be to lead and serve the team as best as I can."

Bavuma added: "This is our last series before the World Cup. Obviously we will be looking for this series to fill whatever gaps we feel there are in the team. We have guys who have been playing a lot of cricket and I guess we will be managing their intensity.

"We also have guys who need some cricket under their belts. It will be to give those guys some game time because this is our last preparation in different conditions compared to Australia but still match time nevertheless.

"The last time we were here, we were tested in all departments of our game and I think we answered well."

South Africa have beaten England and Ireland since drawing with India, who come into this series on the back of a 2-1 triumph over Australia.

The two sides will also meet in Group 2 at the World Cup in Perth on October 30.

 

Kohli to reach another landmark

Virat Kohli finally ended his long wait for an international hundred against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup this month.

The former skipper is set to bring up another century, as his next T20I innings will be his 100th. Kohli will be only the 10th player to be at the crease 100 times in the shortest format on the international stage.

Kohli has scored 3,660 runs from 99 innings, 684 more than the next best aggregate for any batter in their first 100 innings in men's T20Is (Martin Guptill – 2,976 runs).

Proteas enjoying life on the road

South Africa have won each of their past four completed T20I games away from home.

The Proteas have been victorious six times on tour in 2022. Only in 2021, when they won 14 times away from home, have they bettered that tally in a calendar year.

Rohit Sharma has confirmed KL Rahul is the first-choice opener for India ahead of the T20 World Cup, though former captain Virat Kohli is an option.

India face Australia, who host the upcoming World Cup as reigning champions, in a three-match T20I series starting on Tuesday.

With Rohit rested for India's final Asia Cup match, Kohli filled in at the top of the order and plundered an unbeaten 122 from 61 balls to help seal an emphatic 101-run win over Afghanistan.

Kohli's knock is the highest score by an Indian player in men's T20Is, overtaking Rohit's 118 against Sri Lanka in December 2017, while it also ended his 1,020-day wait for an international century.

Ahead of the first match in Mohali, Rohit told a press conference: "It's always nice to have options available to you. It is very important when you go in a tournament like a World Cup.

"You want the flexibility. We only talk about it, but this is actually what it means. You want your players to be in their best shape, batting in any position and so on.

"For us, when we try and do something new, it doesn't mean that is permanent. We understand the quality of all the players and what they bring to us. We do understand that, but it is an option for us. 

"We will keep that in mind that since we haven't taken a third opener, [Kohli] can obviously open. He opens for his franchise and has done really well. We saw that in the last match, and we are quite happy with what we saw. I don't think we will experiment for that position a lot."

Rahul struck 62 in India's win over Afghanistan, though he has not scored a century in the shortest format since 2018.

However, he remains Rohit's first pick.

"KL Rahul will play the World Cup, and open," Rohit affirmed. "His performances for India tend to go unnoticed. He is a very important player for India. If you look at his record over the last two, three years, it is very good.

"I don't think it is right to not consider one performance because someone else has performed. There is no confusion. We are very clear about what KL brings to us.

"He is a very, very important and quality player and a match-winner as well. His presence at the top is very, very crucial for us."

Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Virat Kohli impressed on either side of the ball as India ended their poor Asia Cup campaign with a resounding 101-run win over Afghanistan on Thursday.

India's thrilling six-wicket loss to Sri Lanka on Tuesday left their Super Four qualification hopes in ruins, but they took out any frustrations on their hapless opponents to end a dire title defence on a positive note in Dubai.

Skipper KL Rahul (62) and the outstanding Kohli, who required just 61 balls to bring up his mammoth haul of 122, led India to a scintillating start after they were put in to bat.

Afghanistan claimed the wickets of Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav (six) in quick succession in the 12th over, but were unable to build on those dismissals as India raced to a strong target of 212.

But Afghanistan's struggles with the ball were nothing compared to what was to follow with the bat; Kumar removed opening duo Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz for ducks within the first over, and added three more wickets before the end of the sixth.

Deepak Hooda, Arshdeep Singh and Ravichandran Ashwin then got in on the act with a wicket apiece as Afghanistan were limited to just 111 runs at the end of a chastening outing.

Kohli scales new heights

Kohli's unbeaten 122 is the highest score managed by an Indian player in men's T20 internationals, overtaking Rohit Sharma's 118 against Sri Lanka in December 2017.

While Kohli will be disappointed with India's failure to reach the Asia Cup final, he will no doubt be relieved at ending a long wait for a 71st century in international cricket; he last did so 1,020 days ago, against Bangladesh in November 2019.

Kumar on fire as Afghanistan collapse

India had a star at either end of the crease on Thursday, with Kumar bringing up a remarkable five-wicket haul to continue his excellent form.

Kumar has now taken 31 wickets in T20Is in 2022, surpassing India's previous record across a calendar year (Jasprit Bumrah's 28 in 2016).

Virat Kohli has revealed MS Dhoni was the only one of his current or former team-mates to reach out to him after he quit India's Test captaincy.

The top-order batsman, widely considered one of the finest cricketers of his generation, gave up the T20I armband last year following the World Cup, and subsequently lost ODI skipper duties to Rohit Sharma in December.

The moves came amid a turndown in his frequently prolific form, with his decision to relinquish the Test captaincy coming as the two-time ICC Men's Player of the Year sought to revive his fortunes.

That has led to a strong personal showing in the 2022 Asia Cup, where Kohli is the second top scorer with 154 runs through three innings.

But speaking after Sunday's loss to Pakistan, he has now revealed that only Dhoni, who retired from the international game in 2020, messaged him after he made the call to step down from the captaincy.

"Let me tell you one thing," Kohli stated. "When I left [the] Test captaincy, I got a message from only one person, with whom I had played previously [and] that was MS Dhoni.

"Many people have my number. On TV, people give lots of suggestions, people have a lot to say. But none of the people who had my number sent me a message.

"That respect [with Dhoni], that connection you have with someone, when it is genuine, it shows like this, because there is no insecurity with either of us.

"Neither does he [Dhoni] need anything from me, nor do I need anything from him. Neither of us suffers from insecurity. I can only say: if I want to say something to someone, I reach out to that person individually if I want to help.

"I mean, if you give the suggestions in front of the world, it has no value for me. If it is for my improvement, you can talk with me one-on-one, (tell me) that I genuinely want you to do well. I live life with a lot of honesty."

Mohammad Rizwan's stately half-century helped set the table for Pakistan to edge India with a ball to go in a thrilling five-wicket Asia Cup Super 4 victory.

Virat Kohli's tidy 60, ably supported by knocks of 28 for both KL Rahul and captain Rohit Sharma, had guided their side to 181-7 after they were put in to bat.

But their opponents edged them in a taut finale at Dubai International Stadium, with opener Rizwan forming the bedrock of their victory as they made 182-6 with only one ball left to go.

It served up sweet revenge for Saqlain Mushtaq's side, who lost by five wickets to India in their Asia Cup opener last month, with the result pushing them joint-top of the Super 4 stage with Sri Lanka.

Kohli, who scored a record-equaling fourth T20I century against Pakistan on the back of his 59 not out against them in August, will be left to rue what his side could have done.

India will next play Sri Lanka on September 6, after which Pakistan will face Afghanistan a day later on September 7.

India cruised into the Super 4 of the Asia Cup with a routine 40-run win over Hong Kong.

Virat Kohli (59 not out) and Suryakumar Yadav (68 not out) inspired India to 192-2 after they were put into bat in Dubai. 

Their third-wicket stand of 98 in the Twenty20 match removed any realistic chance of Hong Kong producing an upset.

Suryakumar hit six fours and six maximums in a blistering 26-ball innings, which marked his sixth half-century in T20 cricket.

Hong Kong produced an admirable reply but never threatened to reach an imposing target.

Babar Hayat top scored with 41, but only two other batters scored more than 20 as Hong Kong could only manage 152-5.

India join Afghanistan in the Super 4. Hong Kong now face a winner-take-all match with Pakistan.

India chased 147 to beat Pakistan in the Asia Cup by five wickets, aided by strong innings from Hardik Pandya and the returning Virat Kohli.

After India won the toss and opted to bowl first, Pakistan captain and dangerman Babar Azam was dismissed by Bhuvneshwar Kumar within three overs, before fellow opener Mohammad Rizwan top-scored with 43 as Pakistan were bowled out for 147 with one ball of the innings remaining.

Bhuvneshwar was the pick of the Indian bowlers, taking 4-26, while Pandya and Arshdeep Singh took three and two wickets respectively. 

India's chase got off to a woeful start as KL Rahul, making his return from injury, was removed for a golden duck, dragging on from the bowling of Pakistan T20I debutant Naseem Shah. Rahul's dismissal brought in Kohli, returning after a short hiatus from cricket, who made an important 35 before being caught at long-off. 

A 36-run partnership between Ravindra Jadeja and Suryakumar Yadav looked to have set India on their way to victory but Shah struck again, dismissing Suryakumar to tee up a tense finish.

But Pandya smashed a brilliant 33 runs off 17 deliveries to win the game for his team, even after Jadeja was bowled in the final over. With India needing six off three balls, Pandya sent a maximum flying into the stands to dramatically seal the victory.

Powerful pace attack

After spinners took all 10 wickets for India in their last T20I, a victory over West Indies, all 10 wickets in this Asia Cup opener were taken by Indian pace bowlers for the first time in a T20I innings as they bowled out Pakistan for 147, a score which they were able to chase down.

Returning Kholi

In Kohli's return to cricket, he became just the second player after Ross Taylor to feature in 100 or more internationals across the three formats. After being dropped by Fakhar Zaman on nought, Kohli looked in decent nick as he scored 35 valuable runs before getting out. 

Ravi Shastri expects Virat Kohli to have a "much calmer mind" when he returns at the Asia Cup and backed the former India captain to silence his critics.

Kohli has been given a break after failing to end his run drought on the tour of England last month, only managing a top score of 20 from six innings.

The ex-skipper has not made an international hundred since he reached three figures in a Test against Bangladesh in November 2019.

Kohli was recalled for the Asia Cup and is set to be back at the crease in a clash with fierce rivals Pakistan at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.

Former India captain Shastri thinks the 33-year-old batter can reap the rewards of taking some time off.

Shastri said: "It is not rocket science. Mental fatigue can creep into the best in the world. This down time was not just needed for his body but to reflect.

"He will come back with a much calmer mind. He gets 50 in the first game, mouths will be shut. Public memory is very short and works both ways.

"There is no cricketer fitter than him. People keep saying one innings can make a difference, but with a player like Kohli it makes a massive difference.

"His hunger and passion remains undiminished. He would have learnt from this phase, let me tell you that."

India head coach Rahul Dravid was unable to fly out to Dubai with the squad on Tuesday after testing positive for coronavirus.

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