Blast disturbing but Champions Trophy is paramount in our thoughts: Virat Kohli

Ivan Schwartz
May 26, 2017

If they manage to go past the line this time, it will be their maiden ICC Champions Trophy title. It, however, has failed to defend its crown on all previous four occasions. "If they play with a positive mindset then the whole outlook of the team changes", said Kohli, addressing the media before Champions Trophy. "I think that's the biggest challenge in Champions Trophy". "As far as the team goes, we won last time because our fast bowlers did very well, our spinners were strong and our opening batsmen did well". "We are in a good head-space going into this tournament".

Confident Kohli in a press conference said that his crew is well balanced with experienced and young talents. Even if we close a series off, we want to win it without losing a game or drawing a game as well, if possible.

"We've got a very good side, we play an aggressive style of cricket and Morgs leads from the front with that". If we can think about our games in that manner, we get the desired results more often than not. "The ICC and ECB [England and Wales Cricket Board] place safety and security at the ICC Champions Trophy and ICC Women's World Cup this summer as the highest priority". Virat felt that the Champions Trophy was a more competitive tournament than the traditional World Cup. That's where the warm-up games come in, with six of the eight participating teams set to play in six practice matches over the next few days. "There's no need to get emotional", Kohli said.

"The Indian ODI team has been playing well in recent times and the players selected for the Champions Trophy squad have been in top form. I love the tournament because it represents a challenge from the (word) go", he added.

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Virat Kohli has claimed that the team faces no extra pressure while playing against Pakistan. Despite the volatile political and security situation between the countries, Kohli said the team will treat the contest just like any other game.

Ashwin also shed light on how he improvises with respect to the 50-over format, stating that he has developed different techniques based on the changing nature of the game. "If players [of other countries] don't do well in India and they go back, there is no real hype around it". Overall, he has played 85 ODIs scoring 3466 runs. "But, as you build up every game and try and gain momentum into the tournament, you start becoming that hot favourite". "In the team, they are the ones that know best how to build a match, how to win games and how to take the team out of hard situations. The security concerns are that much more intense", said Choudhary.

A litmus test for this English side, now ranked fifth in the world, will come prior to the Champions Trophy with a three-match Royal London Series against South Africa, the team now leading those rankings.

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