ICC Champions Trophy: India vs Pakistan like any other match for us, says Virat Kohli

first_imgCaptain Virat Kohli refused to be drawn into any extra pressure or hype around India’s opening game in the ICC Champions Trophy against arch-rivals Pakistan.CLICK TO WATCH FULL PRESS CONFERENCEIndia and Pakistan have not played bilateral series since 2012-13 and have met only in ICC events.The two teams had clashed in the 2013 Champions Trophy in England (at the same venue as this year: Edgbaston) where India won a rain-truncated game. They next took on Pakistan in the 2015 World Cup in Adelaidae and won again, thanks to a classy hundred by Kohli.Last year, India played Pakistan twice and Kohli was the difference between the two teams on both occasions. His magnificent 49 had helped India overcome a dangerous Pakistan pace attack in Dhaka and his sublime half-century resulted in an Indian victory at the Eden Gardens in the World T20.Kohli, passionate and aggressive on the field, however, was not willing to put his men under any extra pressure.”Whatever else is going around an issue, as a cricketer you can’t even think about your partner at the other end, forget about other issues,” Kohli said at the pre-departure press conference in Mumbai.India vs Pakistan is an exciting game for people in general and the atmosphere in the ground is different. For us cricketers, it’s just any other game and you can ask this to cricketers from both teams. The hype created is not in our control. We prepare for it like every game.”It’s not like we are playing them for the first time and there’s no need for any extra motivation. When you are playing for India, you really do not need any other motivation. Yes, you need passion but you can’t be too emotional against any one team.”advertisementKohli has been extremely diginified in his interaction with the Pakistani players over the years. Last year, he had gifted Mohammed Amir with a bat and congratulated him for bowling a splendid spell on a green surface in Dhaka.Kohli had also gifted former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi with a Team India jersey, signed by all his players.last_img