T20 World Cup 2021 | Unfair to question Indian team after one defeat, they can still win T20 WC, believes Yusuf Pathan

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Former India all-rounder Yusuf Pathan is of the opinion that India can still bounce back at the T20 World Cup 2021, after their defeat to Pakistan in their opening fixture in Dubai on Sunday. The 38-year-old stated that it was unfair to question the team on the basis of just one defeat.

India had a disappointing start to the T20 World Cup 2021, as they went down to Pakistan in their opening fixture. It was the first instance when India lost a T20I by 10 wickets, and their first ever defeat to sub-continent rivals in World Cups.

While there have been debates over the team selection and forms, Yusuf Pathan believes that the Virat Kohli led side can still win the trophy, and that it is not fair to question this team on the basis of just one defeat.

"We have lost just one match (vs Pakistan) and that doesn't mean that we are out of the tournament," Yusuf said in response to a TimesofIndia.com question on Friday. "This is a big tournament and we have to go a long way. There are other matches coming our way. You may still see India enter the final from here and lift the winning trophy.

"It's not fair to question this Indian team on basis of just one defeat. These guys can win the World Cup from here. They know how to make a comeback. I want India to win the World Cup from here."

India will play their next match against New Zealand on Sunday, October 31. The match will be important for both the teams as they lost their opening fixture of the tournament against the same opposition.

Yusuf is confidednt of India putting on a good show against the Blackcaps.

"It won't be difficult for India to make a comeback," said Yusuf, who was a part of India's T20 World Cup win in 2007. "These guys are so talented and have experience and have played good cricket. These guys are hardworking cricketers. Virat and his men know how to handle pressure, so it won't be difficult for them to make a comeback and beat New Zealand. We all need to support Team India. I am confident India will do well against NZ."

A recurring discussion has been that of Hardik Pandya's lack of bowling, and that has been subject to the all-rounder's fitness. Yusuf believed that if a player who is selected as a all-rounder can’t bowl, then he shouldn’t be included in the squad. 

"An all-rounder plays a big role in a team. He can be a match-winner either with bat or ball or with both. If a cricketer is unfit then I don't think so he should be included in the team. If a player, who is selected as an all-rounder, says he won't bowl, then he shouldn't be included in the team," he said.

Pathan named Ishan Kishan, Shardul Thakur and Shreyas Iyer as probable replacements for Hardik, if he's not fit to bowl.

"There are many players who can take that place," he stated. "If you have to replace someone at number 6 who is an all-rounder, you will replace him with an all-rounder. You have Ishan(Kishan). We have seen his performance in the IPL. You have Shardul (Thakur) who is emerging as a good all-rounder. You have Shreyas Iyer too. These three guys have performed really well in recent years."

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