India v Pakistan, ICC Champions Trophy final: It’ll be challenging - Virat Kohli

India skipper Virat Kohli said Pakistan will play hard in the ICC Champions Trophy final on Sunday

icc champions trophy 2017 Updated: Jun 15, 2017 23:46 IST
Soumitra Bose
Soumitra Bose
Hindustan Times, Birmingham
Champions Trophy 2017,ICC Champions Trophy,India vs Pakistan
Virat Kohli-led India will face Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final at The Oval on Sunday.(AFP)

Virat Kohli’s mind is not on the big ICC Champions final against Pakistan yet, but the Indian captain said the green shirts were on a high and needs to be respected. (HIGHLIGHTS)

Kohli, who firmly believes there are no guarantees in cricket, had to reply to a question on facing Pakistan at The Oval on Sunday even though his first response was a curt, “No thoughts on Pakistan.” (VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS - India vs Bangladesh: Virat Kohli’s men in ICC Champions Trophy final)

Bangladesh vanquished, all the talk is around a Pakistan team that has stunned all and sundry with their resurgence in the Champions Trophy.

Kohli said Pakistan should be treated with respect and they will surely pose a challenge to the Indian team in a tournament final.

“I am very impressed with Pakistan. What a superb tournament has been for them. They have shown their belief as a team and it will be challenging for us,” said Kohli.

Read | Rohit Sharma’s 100 deflates Bangladesh in ICC Champions Trophy semis

‘Don’t need to change’

Kohli, who scored a brilliant 96 on Thursday in India’s nine-wicket win against Bangladesh in the semifinal at Edgbaston cricket ground, said India don’t have to do anything special for the upcoming final.

“We don’t need to change much as a team. Just keep playing the cricket we have been doing,” said Kohli.

Kohli once again praised Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar for India’s win against Bangladesh.

“In the last two games they have been terrific. They have created wicket-taking opportunities even in conditions that are tough for the bowlers,” said Kohli.

Read | ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Yuvraj Singh feted by Sourav Ganguly on his 300th ODI

‘Confidence in dressing room’

India rode a stunning 178-run second wicket stand between Rohit Sharma and Kohli to steamroll Bangladesh. The Indian skipper said, “Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan dented the opposition mentally and they gave us so much confidence in the dressing room.”

India travel to London on Friday. While the players have earned a well deserved rest, Pakistan will be sweating it out at The Oval.

Mohammed Amir’s fitness will be key going forward for the three-time ICC Champions Trophy semifinalists.

First Published: Jun 15, 2017 23:42 IST