Manchester: India’s captain Virat Kholi has played down the hype of Kohli vs Amir contest in tomorrow’s World Cup match between Pakistan and India at the Old Trafford on Sunday.
Kohli told media ahead of the game that he has to respect skills of the bowlers he face but he doesn’t have any contest against any individual in his mind.“I won’t give an answer to give you TRPs,” Kohli said when a journalist asked him about his contest with Pakistan’s fast bowler.
“To be honest, I give respect to skills of bowlers but to say that I have contest with any particular bowler isn’t the right thing. For me, its white ball or red ball coming to me and I have to play it on merit,” Kohli said.
“I have to remain focus, be it Amir or any part-time bowler. If I couldn’t play well, I will lose my wicket,” he said.
Kohli said that Pakistan team has lot of talented players and India will have to play really well to beat the winners of ICC Champions Trophy.
“We’re not focusing too much on what the opposition has to do or what they will bring to the table. We need to believe in our strengths,” he said.
“We believe, if we play well as a team, as I mentioned, we can beat any side in the world. That’s the type of confidence we have carried in the first two games, and we want to continue in the same manner in the next whatever coming games we have,” Kohli added.
Replying to a question, the Indian skipper said that condition and length will be taken into account when his side will finalize the combination for the match against India.
He also expressed confidence on bowling strength of his team.
“The kind of spinners and the kind of bowlers that we have on our team, it’s difficult for any team to just come out and attack these guys straight away. There’s a certain level of risk involved as well when you have world class bowlers bowling at you, and you want to go at them,” he said.
He also tried to play down the hype around intensity of India Pakistan encounter saying that in their minds, nothing changes according to the opposition and his team is only focused on playing the type of cricket it is known for.
“For us, it’s a professional approach to the game, which is most important. We can’t get too emotional or too over excited with any occasion that we play in. So obviously, the mindset of the player is always going to be different from the fans. You can’t mix the two. You can’t expect the fans to think in a professional manner, focusing on each ball. Our attention span has to be very precise on the field because we have that split second to make a decision,” he said.
“For the players, it’s very, very crucial to be absolutely professional and beat any team you’re up against. I mean, in a World Cup we’ll have full stadiums in every game. So it’s not going to be drastically different at one field than any of the other games. It’s going to be a full stadium, we know that. We expect that to happen in all the games that we play,” Kohli added.