New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: Ahead of the mother of all clashes, the India versus Pakistan match, at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium today, former India opener Virender Sehwag heaped praises on Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya and said that his inclusion in the playing 11 will surely impact the outcome of the match. India will face its arch-rivals Pakistan today evening marking the start of the T20 World Cup campaign of both teams.

Ahead of the match, many speculations are being made over the playing XI of Team India as the Men in Blue are facing the 'problem of plenty' in their squad with an exceedingly well performance from each and every player in the warm-up matches against England and Australia. The problem also added a lot of uncertainties regarding the inclusion of Hardik Pandya in the playing XI due to his bowling fitness.

Meanwhile, Virender Sehwag, who was one of the most destructive batsmen to ever play the game, lauded Hardik Pandya's ability as a finisher and backed his inclusion in the playing XI as a full batsman.

“He’ll be on my team. The kind of batter he is, if he clicks, he’ll make the match one-sided, and finish it. He has the ability, which he has shown many times. Yes, if he was bowling fit, that would have been the icing on the cake,” Sehwag, as quoted by Cricbuzz, said.

The veteran opener further said that the Indian team should go with the five frontline bowlers and if anyone from the top-order can sneak in with a couple of overs in the middle it will be perfect for the balance.

Sehwag further said that the Men in Blue should enter the field with five frontline bowlers and if anyone from the top-order can bowl few overs in the middle, it would be a cherry on the top. “You should go with five bowlers plus if Hardik Pandya or someone else from the top-order bowls a few overs, it’ll be the perfect team for me," the 43-year-old veteran added.

Hardik's inclusion in the squad earlier raised many eyebrows due to his bowling fitness as he hasn't bowled a single over in the recently concluded IPL 2021 and the warm-up matches against England and Australia. However, Sehwag said that Pandya will be his first pick for the team against Pakistan.

“His batting is surely a concern. If he’s not in form or not batting well in the nets, then you can maybe see another batter, otherwise, he’ll be my first pick,” he further said.

After almost over two years, Virat Kohli and Co. will face-off against Babar Azam-led Pakistan and rekindle the age-old rivalry. Pakistan is yet to get a one-up over India in World Cups as the head-to-head has been completely dominated by the Men in Blue. The stakes are at an all-time high with Kohli and Co. looking to continue their dominance against Pakistan in ICC World Cups.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan