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Virat Kohli wants Indian cricket team to be ruthless in ICC Champions Trophy

Virat Kohli, the Indian cricket team skipper, wants his men to be ruthless as they look to defend the ICC Champions Trophy title which they won in 2013.

icc champions trophy 2017 Updated: May 24, 2017 19:16 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Champions Trophy 2017,ICC Champions Trophy 2017,Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli wants his team to display the ruthless streak that saw them win the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013 in England.(Getty Images)

India captain Virat Kohli has asked his players to maintain the same mindset and ruthless attitude they did during the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy as they look to defend their title in England.

“The first challenge is not to think about the fact that we are defending the title. When we went there the last time, we just wanted to enjoy ourselves as a young unit. We ended up winning the tournament and ended up creating a team which has done so well so far.

“From that team as well, there have been a few changes. Right now, our mind set is very similar, to go out there and enjoy our cricket which we have done in the past few years,” said Kohli, on the eve of the team’s departure to the United Kingdom.

Being ruthless

Kohli said a similar attitude, and a strong desire to win, helped his team attain the top Test ranking. “In Test cricket, we have been able to reach the top with that mindset, having the hunger to win. We have taken it across all formats. Ruthlessness is something we definitely speak about all the time. We go in with that mindset and that goes a long way in a tournament like this,” he said.

“In the Champions Trophy, you have to be on top of your game from game one. If you are not, your chances go down pretty soon.”

Kohli said the team would be looking to put in place the same template as it did during the successful 2013 campaign where the key was the opening partnership and the bowling of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.

Key areas

“From the last Champions Trophy, the revelation for us was the opening partnership of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. The pair was great to see for fans and the team. It definitely played a part in the team going on to win. Ashwin and Jadeja were on top of their game. Even the fast bowlers bowled well. Even as a fielding side we were the best the last time around.

“These three things we identified then and we would like to focus on these three things in England this time around as well. I felt these three were our strongest factors last time around in the CT,” said Kohli.

India start their campaign against Pakistan at Edgbaston on June 4, then play Sri Lanka on June 8 and South Africa on June 11.

First Published: May 24, 2017 19:15 IST