Indian cricket team’s captain, Virat Kohli addressed the media on Wednesday afternoon before the team left for ICC Champions Trophy 2017 which will be played in England from June 1. In his address, Kohli answered various questions about India’s opening woes and the role of the old guard, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni in the side. However, the Indian skipper dodged one question about whether India should play Pakistan or not. When a reporter asked Kohli given the tension between two countries, should India play against Pakistan, Kohli replied by asking ‘what do you think’ before moving to the next question.
Watch the full conference here:
“What do you think? You seem to have come here with your own mindset. With all due respect, whatever else is going on, as a cricketer, you can’t even think about your partner at the other end when you are batting,” he was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. However, later in his press conference, Kohli opened up a little over the topic and said match against Pakistan is just another game of cricket for his side. “It’s about playing the game. Yes, India-Pakistan is always exciting for the fans. It’s different for them. For us, it is just a game of cricket. In our heads nothing really changes, it’s exactly the same for us. It’s not the first time we are playing against them. Playing for India, you don’t need extra motivation,” Kohli added.
Kohli will be leading the defending champions India for the first time in a major ICC tournament. The team is scheduled to play Pakistan at Edgbaston, Birmingham on June 4 amidst tense bilateral relations between the two nations. While India has maintained a great record against its neighbours in T20 and 50-over World Cups by winning all the 11 games so far, Pakistan has a superior record with two wins against India’s first win over their rivals coming only in the last edition, in 2013.