New Delhi: Ahead of India's opening match of the ICC World Twenty20 against New Zealand, vice-captain Virat Kohli heaped praise on two youngsters Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, who have impressed many of late.
Kohli feels that playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) has helped the duo a lot and their inclusion in Team India has given the side a right balance.
“Like I said during the 2011 World Cup, I was anxious to prove myself and establish well. The newcomers like Bumrah and Hardik too have anxiety but they are more confident now as compared to me then. They have played a lot of IPL cricket and rubbed shoulders with big players, played IPL finals and performed in different situations.
"They have brought this confidence into this team which is good. They have backed their own skills that they do in IPL which is the X factor for our team and which has helped us a lot in the last few series. The sort of balance they have given, as MS himself said about Burmah's death-over bowling and with the new ball with Ashish and Pandya's strong-hitting and bowling a few overs in the middle, were very crucial which have not been highlighted,” Kohli was quoted as saying by PTI.
Kohli also welcomed pacer Mohammed Shami, who has returned to the team from injury.
"Obviously, when he (Shami) was playing regularly for the team he has done really well for us. He's one guy who has gotten us wickets with the new ball, attacked the batsmen. Bowlers like him are always a plus in the squad we were waiting for him to come back and finding his rhythm,” added skipper MS Dhoni's deputy.
The 27-year-old, however, thinks that it is imperative to maintain composure off-the field as they deal with massive expectations in their quest for a second ICC World T20 title.
"In all these major events, the skill required is how you manage yourself off the field. On the field, it's probably the safest and quietest place for you, especially playing in your home country. Field is where you get away and is the place where you face the least pressure in big tournaments like these where you have a chance to express yourself," stated the stylish batsman.
(With PTI inputs)