Virat Kohli’s Post-Match Press Remarks After The ICC Champions Trophy 2017 Final

Title-holders India, set 339 to win, collapsed to 33 for three and 54 for five against a Pakistan side they had thrashed by 124 runs in their tournament opener at Edgbaston on June 4.

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Virat Kohli had a smile on his face despite the heavy loss against Pakistan.

Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli’s post-match press remarks, after his team’s defeat in the Champions Trophy final on Sunday, were widely appreciated by Pakistani fans. Kohli was not only thanked by cricket lovers from across the border but also described as a gentleman. The 28-year-old’s address after his side’s 180-run loss was even praised by the cricketing community.

“I want to congratulate Pakistan, they had an amazing tournament, the way they turned things around, speak volumes for the talent they have. They proved it again, they can upset anyone on their day, disappointing for us but I have a smile on my face because we played well to reach the final,” Kohli said.

“When players (Fakhar Zaman) like that get going on their day, it becomes really difficult to stop them because I think 80 percent of his shots were high-risk — and they were all coming off,” said Kohli.

“As a bowler and as a captain when that is happening … sometimes you have to sit and say ‘the guy is good enough on the day to tackle anything’.

“We certainly tried to make them hit in areas that we felt it would be uncomfortable, but we just didn’t have anything going our way in that partnership.”

Meanwhile, reflecting on India’s tournament as a whole, Kohli insisted: “We can (still) be very proud … and we leave here with our heads held high.

“Credit to everyone for standing up and showing that resilience and reaching the finals — (but) we were outplayed in all departments.

“In the end … you have to accept and admire sometimes the skill of the opposition,” Kohli added sportingly.

Mohammad Amir removed all of India’s top three as Pakistan routed their arch-rivals at The Oval.

Title-holders India, set 339 to win, collapsed to 33 for three and 54 for five against a Pakistan side they had thrashed by 124 runs in their tournament opener at Edgbaston on June 4.

They were eventually dismissed for 158 in reply to Pakistan’s 338 for four, which featured Zaman’s 114, the left-handed opener’s maiden one-day international hundred coming in just his fourth match at this level.

© AFP & Dattaraj Thaly, NDTV SPORTS

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Past Statistics, Records Don’t Matter Says Virat Kohli Ahead Of India vs Pakistan Final

Virat Kohli addressed the media ahead of the the India vs Pakistan ICC Champions Trophy final on Sunday.

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Photo Credit: Prokerala.com

India skipper Virat Kohli on Saturday downplayed the importance of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final against Pakistan by saying that the team was treating the match as “just another game of cricket”. India, who had outclassed Pakistan in their first match of the group stage on June 4, will look be looking to retain the title they won in 2013 when they face their arch-rivals at The Oval, London on Sunday. However, India’s star batsman said that the past would not have a bearing in the final and no team are guaranteed a win.

“It is just another game of cricket tomorrow. We play to win every match. I don’t see any relevance of the first game in the final. Aim is to play well, and past statistics and records don’t matter. No team has the guarantee to win. The team which has better frame of mind will win the game.” Kohli told reporters ahead of the mega-clash on Sunday.

When India began their Champions Trophy campaign against Pakistan at Edgbaston on June 4, there were two different schools of thought about the prospects of the two sides. One half expected India, the defending champions, to make it all the way to the final, while the other half gave eighth-ranked Pakistan not even a ghost of a chance.

The Indian captain said that game would not have any relevance and praised the Pakistan team for reaching the final.

“Pakistan can beat anyone on their day, everyone is aware the kind of talent and ability they have,” said Kohli.

The star batsman has been in lip-smacking form. After scoring an unbeaten 76 against South Africa in the final group game, Kohli smashed 96 not out off 78 balls against Bangladesh in the semis to help India enter the final of the mega tournament.

Kohli moved to the top of the one-day International batting rankings this week with his three half-centuries in the tournament taking his total runs tally in the 50-over format to 8,008 at an average of 54.07.

“It’s how to think about the game and prepare for big matches. I see myself in difficult situations and convince myself that I can pull the team out of difficult situation. Positive thinking helps me think positive about the game,” Kohli said about his own batting.

The 28-year-old said that he wasn’t looking to make much changes to the squad and came out in strong defence of all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who’s bowling has been below par in this tournament.

I’m not looking to change too many things. Will any day back a guy like Hardik Pandya. He can give you match-winning performance at any time. So far he has been giving a good performance. I expect my team to do good every time. I’m sure every player will give their 120 per cent.

Not only will India and Pakistan be locking horns on the cricket field, the hockey teams of the two countries will also be crossing swords in the Hockey World League (HWL) semi-finals on Sunday.

“I have never tried hockey, it is very scary. I wish our hockey team all the best. They are prety good and and I am sure they will do fine,” Kohli said.

© Santosh Rao, NDTV SPORTS

Virat Kohli’s Press Conference Ahead Of The Final Paytm India vs South Africa Freedom Series Test At Feroz Shah Kotla In Delhi

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The ICC match officiating team’s “poor” rating of the Nagpur pitch has had no impact on Virat Kohli’s outlook towards the playing surfaces. If anything, it has infuriated him further, to the extent that he has effectively accused the ICC of having double standards when rating the pitches. He brought up the recent Adelaide Test, which finished in three days, and a few others in South Africa where the ball dominated the bat, at least on paper.

“Well there have been three scores of under 50 in Tests in South Africa,” Kohli said on the eve of the final Test of the series. “I haven’t seen any articles about that. Teams have been bundled out for less than 100 six times in South Africa. There’s not been an article about that. Articles are there to be written. It’s about the mindset or opinion of someone. I don’t relate to it. I don’t understand it, and I certainly don’t entertain it. It doesn’t bother me or the team. People can write articles as and how they wish.”

Midway into this sermon Kohli had to be reminded the issue here was not articles, but the ICC’s assessment of the pitch in Nagpur. “I’m talking about everyone,” Kohli said. “I’m not talking about people writing articles in general. It is an assessment that has happened in every condition, in every ground. Unfortunately, in our country and in our situation, it is highlighted a lot more. That’s a fact. Because all we have been talking about is the pitch.

“In South Africa, the only thing we were talking about is how badly we were playing. So it’s been going on for a while. There’s no change in pattern. The Indian team is going into a new mindset. Apart from that, the thinking of the rest around it has not changed too much. Because we are criticised about our games and techniques when we don’t play well but when visitors don’t play well, it’s always the wicket. So there is no sense to it as far as I am concerned or the Indian team is concerned.”

In India reporters are not allowed anywhere near the pitch, which leaves captains as the only sources of information on the pitch, but Kohli refused to talk about what to expect from Delhi. “I don’t want to talk too much about the pitch,” Kohli said. “Because there has already been a lot of talk about it. If we have to talk about the cricket, it will be better. Because when the team wins, the support should come from all quarters. Always, we look at points to criticise. There’s hardly a point where the team is backed to make them confident. So, in my view, I don’t understand the logic behind it. There have been comments from all sides about the pitch. I don’t think anyone has written articles about the Adelaide Test, which finished in two-and-a-half days. So I don’t see anything wrong with any kind of wicket that we play on.”

If the pitches are not an issue, there must be some reason there have been only four half-centuries in the series, two of those from India. The team director Ravi Shastri has bemoaned the decline in the art of grafting for runs. When asked if he was concerned about his side’s performance against the spinners – and lesser spinners at that, when compared to R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra – Kohli again retorted with apparent frustration.

“We are prepared to face anyone anywhere,” Kohli said. “We are prepared to take up any sort of challenge. I don’t understand why we are not sitting here and talking about the fact that we are 2-0 up in the series, and again we are trying to criticise our players. As regards our weaknesses we know them and we are working on them, we are international cricketers, and we are not here to hide from any mistake. But if that’s the only point that is going to be raised in press conferences and debates then as a cricketer you don’t see any sense in answering those questions after a while. I think we should appreciate what the team has done and move forward in the same direction.”

Kohli was asked if the cricket played lived up to the billing in the lead-up to the series. “I think it was good Test cricket,” Kohli said. “People have liked watching it on TV. You saw the crowds in Bangalore, in Nagpur, even Mohali we had a decent crowd. People want to see results. People want to see exciting cricket, and that is what has happened in this series. We have certainly enjoyed it. Playing and putting pressure on the opposition, we have enjoyed as a unit.”

© Sidharth Monga, ESPN Sports Media Ltd.