India all-rounder Hardik Pandya on Sunday said he won’t resume bowling until at least the ICC T20 World Cup closes in on the knockouts stage.

Hardik was speaking ahead of the T20 showpiece’s marquee clash between India and Pakistan in Dubai.

“The back is fine, it was jittery, but I won’t be bowling for now. I want to be able to bowl eventually, closer to the knockouts. The professionals and I both have to take the call about when I can have a bowl,” Hardik said.

Hardik’s selection in the World Cup squad has been under scrutiny as the all-rounder has not bowled for a while, but a day before the team’s opening match in the tournament, India captain Kohli asserted that he has an important role to play as a finisher.

Kohli said Hardik looks fit enough to chip in with a couple of overs but he is likely to regain full fitness as the tournament progresses.

The all-rounder, who did not bowl a single over in the second leg of IPL recently, underwent a back surgery in the United Kingdom in October 2019.

Ahead of the much-anticipated game against Pakistan, he said, “I don’t like to get too hyped by the situation, and my family make sure of that too. I stay away from social media because you do get excited and get the vibes.

“It’s simple, and we leave emotions out of the way, and keep things professional. We make sure we tick the right boxes, and do the processes right.”