Asia Cup: Virat Kohli plays down hype around crucial India-Pakistan clash

India and Pakistan last played a rain-hit match in the ICC Champions Trophy in Birmingham. Defending Asia Cup champions Pakistan will not forget that defeat in Edgbaston easily.

Updated: February 24, 2014 23:24 IST
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India's stand-in skipper Virat Kohli has his eyes set on the Asia Cup Trophy and says he would like to win every single match - regardless of the intensity of rivalry or pressure. His team will play arch-rivals and defending champions Pakistan on March 2 but for Kohli, it will be a contest like any other. (India will miss Dhoni: Misbah)

While India will play their first match on Wednesday - against hosts Bangladesh in Fatullah. That game will start the countdown to the needle against Pakistan. Kohli though wants to take each match as it comes. "Obviously we are here to win the tournament. We haven't just come here to play one game and go back home, that's not our aim," he said, adding: "A game against Pakistan is always a hyped game for us, obviously a big pressure match. We take every game the same way." (India aim to rediscover winning form in Asia Cup)

Captaining the side in the absence of an injured Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Kohli is looking to prove that he can lead India to their sixth Asia Cup title - regardless of the outcome of the Indo-Pak clash. "You know, the aim is to win the tournament, not just one game, and make sure the people are happy," he told reporters in Dhaka on Sunday. (India beat Pakistan in ICC Champions Trophy)

Kohli's counterpart - Misbah-ul-Haq - however, made no effort to downplay the clash and promised that the contest will be exciting. "It's always a big challenge playing against India because there is so much interest in the game," he said. (India arrive in Bangladesh)

Pakistan had lost the last time the two teams played each other - a rain curtailed ICC Champions Trophy match June last year in Birmingham. Misbah is aware of India's strengths and said that he expects his side to perform at its peak to win against the world No. 2 ODI side. "India are a formidable side and we have to be at our best to win. We may not have played each other much recently, but I know it will be an exciting match," he said. (India aim to regain number 2 position)

While Pakistan enter the tournament as holders, India have the distinction of being the team which has won Asia Cup the most number of times. While both teams are fierce competitors, their rivalry is expected to generate enormous interest - both in Mirpur where the match will be played and around the world. (India, Pakistan set for epic face-off)

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