Delhi: Former India cricketer Mohammad Kaif backs “balanced and in-form” Team India to win the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021, currently being played in The UAE and Oman. India will open their T20 World Cup campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan in the Super 12 stage at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday, October 24. The quadrennial event will be Virat Kohli’s last swansong as the captain in the shorter format.

Kaif, who is best remembered for his iconic match-winning knock during the Natwest final (2002) against England, feels this is the best chance for Kohli to finish off on a high. Mind you, Kohli – the captain has never won an ICC trophy so far despite his impressive record in all three formats. “We all know Virat Kohli as a batsman, how bigger a player he is and what he can achieve. Kohli has some incredible batting records under his belt. But I feel this T20 World Cup will decide how Kohli finishes off as a captain (in T20 format),” the 40-year-old Kaif expressed his views exclusively on Zee News.

“We often blame him for not winning an ICC trophy but it’s the job of the whole team to perform and win on the given day. Kohli has a big task at his hands of how to use his resources perfectly during crunch situtations. This team has everything – be it in-form players, power-hitters, skills and also a good reading of the conditions as they were already playing IPL 2021 in UAE,” Kaif added.

MS Dhoni, who had announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket in 2020, was named as the mentor of the Indian cricket team for this T20 World Cup. Dhoni is one of India’s most successful captains ever with two World Cups (T20 and 50-over) and a Champions Trophy title to his credit.

Kaif asserted that with Dhoni in the ranks, this is a great chance for the Men in Blue to lift the coveted title in Dubai on November 14. “India will definitely beat Pakistan in the high-octane clash.” He added that this is a golden opportunity for India to clinch the trophy. “Dhoni’s calmness, Kohli’s aggression will serve as a perfect mix for Team India in the big tournament.”

“I congratulate BCCI for choosing Dhoni as mentor’s role,” Kaif said on ZEE NEWS.

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This will be Kohli’s first and the only opportunity to win the T20 World Cup as he has decided to stand down as India’s shortest format captain after this ICC event in Dubai and UAE.

India won their both warm-up matches comfortably against England and Australia. They will begin their campaign Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai.