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India vs Pakistan Final: Team Knows How to Deal With Expectations Ahead of Indo-Pak Match, Says Virat Kohli

Arnab Sen |Cricketnext | Updated: June 18, 2017, 2:46 PM IST
India vs Pakistan Final: Team Knows How to Deal With Expectations Ahead of Indo-Pak Match, Says Virat Kohli

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London: India skipper Virat Kohli has said that the team is ready and knows how to deal with expectations of the entire country ahead of the blockbuster Champions Trophy 2017 final against Pakistan on Sunday.

"It’s been quite a few years I have been doing that (coping with the pressure of expectations). Honestly, you cant think of those things when you step on to the field," said Kohli in the pre-match press conference on Saturday.

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"I know there are expectations, there are people who want us to do well every time we play. But I understand as a player that it is not possible. It is very important to realise the things that might or might not happen in the game. And you have to be close to reality and you can’t live in a dilemma and you have to focus on the things that you have to do on the field," he added.

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"This is a part of being an Indian cricketer and then having performed for a few years, obviously expectations have gone up. You have to find a way to deal with it. You can’t ignore it also and have to maintain a balance. I think I have been able to strike a good balance and I am sure I will be fine tomorrow," said Kohli.

When asked if the team is doing anything differently to prepare for this huge clash, Kohli replied in negative and said that they are sticking to what they believe in.

"We never spoke about the semi-final in a different way and we are not talking about the final in a different way either. We have practiced the same way we did before previous matches and our approach hasn't changed at all," Kohli said.

"We have changed nothing from the first match that we played in this tournament. We are keeping things simple as the more you are relaxed, the better decisions you make. I feel that when you reach this far into a tournament, you can't work on techniques. It's how you prepare for the big games. You have to believe in yourselves," he added.

"I have never believed in watching too many videos of anyone. I prepare the best way I can. I believe in my abilities, and I feel like if I am good enough, if I am technically good enough, I should be able to counter any bowler that's bowling to me."

"I don't take extra pressure thinking he is bowling from here, what if he doesn't do that in the game? So I think of those things. I like to go by what I see coming out of the hand. I mean, whether you have played people before or you haven't, this game, as I said, you cannot guarantee a performance.

"Even the bowlers that you play regularly, on a tour or throughout a series, two matches you'll be on top of them, third match they can nick you off. It's basically how you react to every ball that's bowled to you regardless of whether you've played against the guy or you haven't," said Kohli

"You have to be good enough to counter it, and that's the mindset we've been playing with in this tournament, and we're going to try to continue the same," he added.

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India have already beaten Pakistan once in the tournament but the Indian skipper said that past records don't matter in a match of this magnitude.

"I don't see the relevance of that game here. Some teams start confidently while others make a strong comeback into the tournament, like Pakistan have done. On their day, they can beat any side in the world. However, we are not intimidated by them, nor we are being arrogant. We are just being confident in our abilities," Kohli said.

"No team in the tournament is guaranteed a victory as whichever team performs on that day will win. We can only control our performances and that is what we are looking to do," he added.

Kohli also put his weight behind star all-rounder Hardik Panyda and even called him a complete package. Pandya has come under immense criticism as in the last three matches in the Champions Trophy, he has picked only one wicket.

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"We are not looking to change too many things and I will always back a player like Hardik as he provides a good balance to the squad. He can bat, he can bowl, he is just a complete package," said Kohli.

"So far he has been really good in the tournament. When he bowls well, it is a total relief for me as a captain because he can get you couple of wickets and seven-eight good overs. I would not think of changing anything at this particular stage," he added.


India playing XI: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(c), Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni(w), Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah

Pakistan playing XI: Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed(w/c), Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan

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First Published: June 18, 2017, 8:36 AM IST

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