‘Pakistan a very strong team. We have to play our best cricket to beat them’: India captain Virat Kohli

  • Kohli said regardless of their past dominance Pakistan is and always has been packed with talented players. "Pakistan, according to me is a very strong team and always has been a strong side," he said
India's captain Virat Kohli(AP)
India's captain Virat Kohli(AP)
Published on Oct 23, 2021 08:08 PM IST
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India captain Virat Kohli termed Pakistan ‘a very strong team’ ahead of their ICC T20 World Cup 2021 opener in Dubai on Sunday. India and Pakistan are set to start off their World Cup campaigns in the high-octane Group 2 encounter in the Super 12 stage. While many experts and fans believe India are the stronger side and start as favourites, Kohli, however, had a different opinion and said they don't look at past records before heading into a match. 

India have a stunning 12-0 record against Pakistan in World Cup (Including ODIs) matches. They have met their arch-rivals five times in the T20 World Cup and have won all of those, including the big final of the inaugural edition in 2007. 

"We never discussed these things, about our record and past performance," Kohli told reporters on the eve of the much-anticipated clash.

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"These things create distractions. What matters is how we prepare and execute on that particular day, regardless of the opposition."

Kohli said regardless of their past dominance Pakistan is and always has been packed with talented players.

"Pakistan, according to me is a very strong team and always has been a strong side," he said.

"You have to play your best cricket against them, because they have lots of talent and players who can change the game."

Babar Azam's Pakistan will look to break their World Cup jinx against India, who have won all five clashes in T20's showpiece event.

Babar, Mohammad Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman hold the team's batting key while quicks Shaheen Shah Afridi and Hasan Ali lead a potent bowling attack.

‘Don’t want to focus on the past': Pakistan captain Babar Azam

"To be honest, we don't want to focus on the past. We are looking forward to this World Cup. We will focus on our strength, ability and apply that on the day," Babar said at the pre-match press conference.

"It is important to keep things simple and stick to the basics. We will try to play good cricket and try to produce better results," the right-handed batter, who is on a high with two T20 centuries this year, added.

The cross-border tension between the neighbours meant that the two teams don't get to play bilateral series with their last meeting being the 2019 ODI World Cup game in England.

Asked if he's having sleepless nights ahead of the big match, Babar said: "We have played many events, did well in the Champions Trophy.

"The more we keep it simple, the better it will be. It's about sticking to the basics and staying calm and relaxed.

"Our preparation is in our hands and we have given our 100 per cent. We hope to play good cricket on the day."

(With agency inputs)

 

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Wednesday, January 26, 2022