Indian cricket team’s captain Virat Kohli while addressing the media ahead of the match against Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy denied any rift with coach Anil Kumble. Kohli added that this is just a speculation and the team is united. However, he added that it is impossible for humans to agree on everything but people should not speculate and spread rumours about something if they don’t know about it. The Indian captain looked confident about his team’s chances of defending the title and added that he has seen the previous encounters in Birmingham and the conditions look really good.
Kohli added that the usual process is being followed as it happened last time and the focus is totally on the tournament right now. Talking about the team selection, Kohli said it will depend on the conditions as all the players have done well in the warm-up matches. When asked about the role of Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the team, Kohli said he is a very senior player and whenever needed he keeps taking advice from the wicketkeeper-batsman.
Meanwhile, former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming has backed the Indian team to beat Pakistan. “India have quality players with experience, whereas Pakistan are probably on the way up. Pakistan are a very talented side, but they are unpredictable,” Fleming, who is an ‘ESPNcricinfo Match Day’ expert panellist, told PTI in an interaction.
“Pakistan are a little inconsistent given the young nature of their side and that’s where India have an edge. India are more settled and played together a lot,” he added. Fleming said India were one of the favourites to the lift the Champions Trophy. “India are one of the favourites. There are four teams in particular which stand out for me. They are England, South Africa, Australia and India. They are definitely in the top bracket,” said former left-handed batsman. But when asked to predict the two finalists, Fleming said it would be “England versus South Africa” final.