Indian captain Virat Kohli rubbished concerns surrounding the lack of match practice for his team in the lead up to the big-ticket ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 match against Pakistan on Sunday in Manchester.
India’s much-anticipated match against World Cup 2019 table-toppers New Zealand was washed out without a ball being bowled at Trent Bridge, Nottingham on Thursday. India’s training session on Tuesday was also cancelled due to the inclement weather prevailing in England.
India last played on Sunday but Virat Kohli feels India should be ready for their big match against Pakistan with a couple of good training sessions.
Virat Kohli said, “We’ve been playing some good cricket, we’re not too worried about where we stand. Having two wins does give you confidence. A couple of practice sessions and we should be fine. It’s only about getting game time and that should happen on Sunday.”
The India captain also spoke about the privilege of featuring in an India-Pakistan contest, one of the most-anticipated clashes in sport, let alone cricket.
Kohli pointed out that the frenzy around an India-Pakistan match can overwhelm youngsters but maintained that India will be able to manage it and put up a strong show against their rivals on Sunday.
As Kohli points out, India-Pakistan clashes in the recent past have been competitive. Despite not having beaten India in ICC tournaments, Pakistan defeated India for the first time at the big stage – the final of Champions Trophy 2017.
Virat Kohli added, “As soon as you enter the field, it’s all calm. All the excitement and frenzy around the game could intimidate guys who are playing for the first time. For us, it’s about executing our skills and we’re all professionals. It’s been competitive for a while now, it’s been a marquee event and it’s an honor to be a part of such an event.”
While India are at the third spot after the washout in Nottingham, Pakistan are reeling at the 8th spot after their 41-run defeat to Australia on Wednesday.
Stressing the need for Pakistan to bring out their “A-game”, former Pakistan pacer Waqar Younis said Sarfaraz Ahmed’s men need to be at their best if they are to beat their rivals on Sunday.
“Pakistan have got to take positives out of what they did to India in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy a couple of years ago. They must think positively going into this game.
Waqar said, “I hope they have got their best game in the locker for India, who showed against Australia that they are a very fine side.”