"If We Play Well, We Can Beat Anyone": Virat Kohli Ahead Of India vs Pakistan Clash
India and Pakistan face each other on Sunday in a long-awaited World Cup 2019 group stage clash in Manchester.
Virat Kohli speaks to the media ahead of India vs Pakistan clash
Virat Kohli said India can beat anyone if they play to their potential
Virat Kohli downplayed the frenzy and excitement around the match
Virat Kohli, speaking ahead of the India vs Pakistan World Cup 2019 clash, said that if the Indian team plays to its potential, they are good enough to beat anyone. The match between the two South Asian giants is arguably the marquee match of the tournament, however, Indian captain Virat Kohli downplayed the frenzy and excitement surrounding the high-octane clash. The Team India skipper said that "no one game is more special for us than the other" and his team would be treating "every game equally, regardless of the opposition".
"If we play well, we can beat anyone. Nothing changes according to the opposition. For the players, it is very important to be professional, be it any team you are up against," Virat Kohli said in the pre-match press conference.
"No one game is more special for us than the other. Our responsibility is to treat every game equally, regardless of the opposition. We are a top side in the world because of the cricket that we play," he added
The build-up to the game has predictably seen a war on social media and through advertisements from both camps. When asked what message Kohli had for the fans, the skipper said: "Watch and enjoy... it's just a cricket match."
Mohammad Amir took five wickets in Pakistan's loss to Australia, and will once again pose the biggest danger to the India's star-studded batting line-up. However, Virat Kohli said that his team will focus on the other bowlers as much as on the left-arm speedster.
"I am not going to say anything for TRPs," said Kohli.
"You have to respect any bowler's strength. You should have faith in your ability to score against any bowler. I just focus on the white ball or the red ball, regardless of the bowler. There are 10 other players to impact the game," the India captain said.
India and Pakistan's cricketing history has been of intense rivalry, with almost all their matches being played with an intensity which probably matches the most emotional sporting rivalry anywhere in the world.
The two sides have had their share of joy and disappointment, but when it comes to the ICC World Cup, Pakistan's disappointment has been manifold, since they are yet to register a win over arch-rivals India on this platform. India, on the other hand have handled the intense pressure with much more poise and the results are there for all to see.
India have won all six of their meetings against their neighbours in World Cups as they look to maintain their perfect record in Manchester.
India also beat Pakistan in their most recent encounter at the Asia Cup in the United Arab Emirates last year.
The match will be broadcast at primetime in both cricket-obsessed countries and a billion people are expected to tune in.
Rain is forecast for Sunday's match however, and could bring about an early sodden end to the highly anticipated game.
(With AFP and IANS inputs)