Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli while speaking to media before leaving for England for the ICC Champions Trophy said there is a lot of difference between T20 and 50-over matches but it helps you to stay match fit. He added that IPL is a very competitive tournament and has helped players stay in shape. When asked about the pressure of defending the title, Kohli said the first challenge is to not think about that while adding that the mindset of the team will be the same as it has been in the last couple of years.
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Kohli who will be leading India in a major ICC tournament for the first time, said since the tournament is shorter, there is no scope of making a mistake and the team has to be ready for the very first game. “Competitiveness of the tournament is much higher as only top teams are in it,” he was quoted saying by news agency ANI. Even though Kohli dodged the question whether India should play Pakistan given the tension between two countries, he added that this is one game everyone looks forward to. Kohli also clarified that it is important to be passionate while playing against Pakistan but at the same time you should not get emotionally carried away.
Speaking about MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh’s inclusion in the team, Kohli said both of them are big players and there is no need to guide them. He added that they are the strongest pillars of the team and if they perform well, it boosts the morale of the entire team. Kohli hoped that Yuvraj and Dhoni keep playing freely as they did in India’s last ODI series against England. Hinting that Shikhar Dhawan might be India’s first choice opener along with Rohit Sharma, Kohli said this partnership was one of the strongest points for the team in the last championship when India emerged as the champions.
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Talking about Indian players’ poor record overseas, Kohli defended his team by saying why no questions are asked when other teams come to India and fail. He said that only thing that matters is winning. Speaking on his own poor outing when India toured England last time, Kohli said, “I would never play for redemption, I only play to keep winning.”