Just another game: Kohli

Just another game: Kohli

Skipper says India are not intimidated by Pakistan

A standout feature of the Indian team, first under MS Dhoni and now with Virat Kohli in charge, is the ability of the players to handle pressure very well. More often than not, they’ve excelled in crunch games.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli, speaking on the eve of the final against Pakistan at the Oval, said the secret behind their success is to not get overawed by the occasion. “We haven't spoken about this game in any different way. We've practiced the same way from the first day we came here. Even today's practice was absolutely similar. There wasn't any drop in intensity or something extra. There's no overexcitement. People are just doing the normal things that they do in any practice session and that's the kind of approach we have maintained throughout the tournament.

“It's just another game of cricket tomorrow and whatever the result, we have to go forward and play more games after that. The more relaxed you stay in these kinds of situations, it's a good thing because it helps you take better decisions. When you are composed and calm mentally, you can help the team come out of difficult situations. So I think it's how you prepare mentally that is key in big games,” said Kohli on Saturday.

India hammered Pakistan in the opening group game and are tipped favourites in the final. Kohli, however, said that game’s result will have no bearing come Sunday. “I don't see any relevance of the first game here because you can never tell how a particular team starts a tournament. Some teams start very confidently and then they fade off. Some teams might not have the best starts and they come back amazingly, which Pakistan has done. So everyone is aware of the kind of talent they have in their team and on their day they can beat any side in the world. So we're quite aware of that. But at the same time, neither are we too intimidated nor are we too arrogant about what we are doing. It's important to maintain the balance of being confident in your own skills and what you are doing as a team.

“I'm sure it's going to be a very good and very well-contested match. Both teams obviously want to win the final. They've worked really hard to be there, to stand in the final and I'm sure that every player is going to come out and give their 120 per cent. And if 11 players from both sides end up doing that, it's going to be an exciting encounter. I don't see any relevance of the first game in this one.”

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