Virat Kohli’s message for fans ahead of India vs Pakistan: It is a cricket match, enjoy it

first_imgIt’s almost time for only the 7th World Cup match between India and Pakistan. The two-arch rivals face each other in what is expected to be a blockbuster match (weather permitting) in Manchester on Sunday.No surprise, there’s massive hype around the World Cup 2019 meeting between India and Pakistan. India are heading into the match with a 6-0 record in the quadrennial tournament but Pakistan had beaten Virat Kohli’s men in the final of Champions Trophy in London just 2 years ago.The whole world is waiting to watch the two teams in action at Old Trafford but Virat Kohli has played down the hype surrounding arguably the biggest World Cup 2019 match.Fans have gotten a bit too emotional in the past, leading to untoward incidents in both the countries but Virat Kohli urges them to treat Sunday’s big game as “just a cricket match”.”Watch and enjoy… it’s just a cricket match,” Kohli addressed the fans from both the countries while speaking to the press on the eve of the match in Manchester.No single game is more important than the other: KohliKohli also insisted that players can’t afford to let the sense of occasion overwhelm them during the India-Pakistan match on Sunday even as the two teams will be playing in front of a packed crowd at Manchester.”We {India] have literally discussed nothing different from the time we came to England. The atmosphere in the dressing room hasn’t changed [ahead of Pakistan match]. We understand any game you can play for the country can be emotional, adrenaline filled. So for us, no single game is more important than the other,” Kohli said.advertisementHe added: “Cricketers who have been selected to play for the country are responsible for treating every game equally. For us nothing in the change room is different, the conversation hasn’t changed. We need to keep in mind we’re a top team and focus on our strengths.”Kohli not concerned about ‘unfamiliarity’ issueIndia and Pakistan haven’t been playing bilateral cricket since 2012-13 and it’s nearly been a year since the two teams met the last time at the international stage but Virat Kohli says India aren’t going to be concerned about “unfamiliarity” factor.”I don’t see it [lack of familiarity] as a massive challenge because even the teams that you know very well, you have to go out and play good cricket. More often than out, if the 11 guys execute what they have to do on the field with precision and focus, we end up winning. For us, we have to focus on our strengths. That’s good enough for anyone in the world. We have to carry that belief. For us, familiar or unfamiliar oppositions don’t matter. If you don’t play well, you don’t win,” Kohli added.Also Read | Virat Kohli on rivalry with Mohammad Amir: Not focussed on individual competitionAlso Read | India vs Pakistan: Rishabh Pant trains with MS Dhoni ahead of blockbuster World Cup clashAlso See:last_img

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