India treat match against Pakistan like any other game, says Virat Kohli | icc-champions-trophy-2017 | Hindustan Times
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India treat match against Pakistan like any other game, says Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli acknowledged the significance of the India-Pakistan clash in the ICC Champions Trophy but said the players can’t afford to get carried away by the hype outside the ground.

icc champions trophy 2017 Updated: May 24, 2017 18:55 IST
HT Correspondent
Virat Kohli-led India will begin their ICC Champions Trophy campaign against Pakistan at Edgbaston, Birmingham on June 4.
Virat Kohli-led India will begin their ICC Champions Trophy campaign against Pakistan at Edgbaston, Birmingham on June 4. (Getty Images)

Skipper Virat Kohli has played down India’s high-voltage ICC Champions Trophy opener against Pakistan as just another game of cricket, pointing out that it’s always exciting for the fans but nothing changes for the team and they treat it as a normal game. (ICC CHAMPIONS TROPHY FULL SCHEDULE)

“Yes. it’s always very exciting for the fans but in our heads nothing changes, it’s just a game of cricket. Can’t control the hype around it,” Kohli told a media conference in Mumbai before the defending champions leave for UK.

Kohli praised seniors Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni and said their form would hold the key to India’s chances of successfully defending the title.

(Read | Manchester attack: ICC to look into security for Champions Trophy 2017)

“Those two know best how to get the team out of difficult situations. They enjoyed batting with each other and played freely without any burden (vs England).

“That confidence rubs off on the team, the team environment was boosted. If two such good players do well, the team environment is automatically boosted.”

Kohli hoped India can build on the areas they excelled in during their victorious 2013 campaign. He said the win in UK was due to the opening partnership of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, the brilliant show of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin and a stupendous fielding effort.

The India skipper also said he was not seeking any “redemption” after he struggled during the 2014 Test tour of England.

“I never play for any redemption. The aim is to win games. In my head I don’t think of those things,” he said when asked if he saw the Champions Trophy as a chance to redeem his reputation after the 2014 failures.

The ICC Champions Trophy begins on June 1 with hosts England taking on Bangladesh in the first game. India begin their campaign against Pakistan at Edgbaston, Birmingham on June 4.