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

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

Not Bothered That Middle & Lower Order Is Untested: Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli attends a press conference ahead of India’s semi-final against Bangladesh.

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Image Courtesy: Taiwan News

BIRMINGHAM: Law of averages is one aspect in cricket that international teams are always wary of but Virat Kohli is not bothered one bit about what may happen if the famed and in-form Indian top-order flounders in the ICC Champions Trophy semi-final against Bangladesh.

Asked if the lack of batting time for middle and lower order, after three successful league games, could pose problems, Kohli was dismissive.

“No, that’s not a concern. Obviously, as a batsman you want to finish off games, so you are not necessarily going to get out thinking my middle-order hasn’t got any game time.

“So, given an opportunity, everyone would like to finish games convincingly and, as I said everyone is batting well,” Kohli said on the eve of the match here.

For the combative Indian captain, lack of batting time during matches would only spur Hardik Pandya and Kedar Jadhav to cash in and deliver whenever they are required.

“In the practice games, everyone has got a hit, and we know Kedar and Hardik are playing really well at the moment, so we are not bothered at all. Rather they (Kedar and Hardik) are looking for an opportunity if the team is in a bit of trouble.

“I am sure those two guys are going to step up and take the team through along with Ash (Ravichandran Ashwin) and Jaddu (Ravindra Jadeja) as well. Those guys are actually waiting for opportunities, and that’s a great mindset to have.

“They are not sitting comfortably thinking ‘oh these guys are going to do the job’. They are actually prepared if a crisis situation comes in… ‘we want to be the match winners’ (that) is the energy they are creating,” Kohli sounded confident.

Kohli and the current team has played a number of pressure games in ICC tournaments, but he said on a new day that will count for little.

“Yeah, we have played these kind of games before quite a few times but there are no guarantees in this sport. As we have seen in the league stages as well, a lot of teams have surprised the opposition, and we are certainly not taking anything for granted.

“We will use whatever momentum we have gained in this tournament to execute what we want to. We are not going to go according to past results and what we have done in the past tournaments. Going into a big game like this, we are going to treat it as how we treated the last game, and our mindset does not differ.”

Kohli made it clear that an unchanged XI would take on Bangladesh and Umesh Yadav will be warming the bench.

“We gave a lot of people chances in the practice games and he (Umesh) did bowl well in that game but that does not mean that you necessarily play someone who has done well against a particular opposition in a practice game.”

He was all praise for Ashwin’s performance against South Africa.

“I think Ashwin was brilliant in the last game, and I don’t see any good reason to change that. The team played really well. It was a complete performance, and I certainly don’t think that there is any need to change anything.”

Kohli was very respectful of Bangladesh as an opposition despite India enjoying a great record against them.

“It is no surprise anymore to anyone that they are doing really well, and they have really improved their cricket, and it is a credit to their set-up and the kind of players they have  now who are taking more responsibility.

“Bangladesh is a very dangerous side on their day and everyone realises that. Bangladesh have taken huge strides. I mean they are in the top-eight sides in the world. So yeah, they are a very competitive side,” Kohli side.

The one question that must have irritated him was the 2015 World Cup quarter-final controversy.

“It’s been 24 months! I seriously don’t think that anyone is thinking about that game. We have had so many matches against each other since then, and we are certainly not going out to prove a point to anyone.

“We just want to play good cricket as a side. Our opposition could be anyone. We are not really thinking about what’s happened in the past or things that go on at the international level,” Kohli said, setting the record straight.

© THE TIMES OF INDIA

Virat Kohli Reveals Why Mohammed Shami Didn’t Play Against Pakistan In ICC Champions Trophy 2017

India are likely to retain their playing XI for their next match against Sri Lanka at The Oval.

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India captain Virat Kohli on Wednesday said that Mohammed Shami is the one player with the least match practice among the four fast bowlers in the squad which is why he was kept out of their opening game against Pakistan on June 4.

Shami returned to the team for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 after spending more than two years recuperating from the shoulder injury.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah are the in-form bowlers for India and hence, have been Kohli’s preferred choice.

“Shami has not played 50-over cricket for a long time and I am glad he bowled really well in the practice games. But I felt the others – Umesh, Bhuvi and Bumrah – had much more match practice and had the performances to back that up,” Kohli said at the pre-match press conference on the eve of their clash against Sri Lanka.

Kohli though made it clear that Shami is always in the scheme of things of the team and is a proven match-winner. But he will step in only if someone else gets injured.

“A bowler like Shami will always be in the scheme of things for us. He is the sort of guy who can win you games in any form of cricket. He is feeling his way back in and is certainly an asset.

“If, god forbid, something happens to someone, we have someone like Shami who’s ready to strike and has proven himself. That just shows our bench strength,” Kohli added.

Umesh was the pick of the bowlers for India in their first match against Pakistan, getting 3 wickets for 30 runs in 7.4 overs while Bhuvneshwar Kumar got one wicket. Bumrah was as usual economical in his five-over spell and helped build pressure on the Pakistani batsmen.

India are likely to go in with the same playing XI in their next match against Sri Lanka at The Oval on Thursday. A win would see the Men in Blue go through to the semi-finals alongside hosts England.

© Rohan Sen, indiatoday.in