As the two arch-rivals are set to test their strength once again in the ICC Champions Trophy final at The Oval on Sunday, Indian captain Virat Kohli wants to focus all his energies on the match.
Describing social media as a distraction, the Indian captain said, “If you are too distracted listening to too many suggestions or players or criticism, then you can’t focus on what you need to think as a sportsman to lead the team and help others in the team.”
Kohli said the biggest thing was to stay away from social media to focus on things that matter, the things that a sportsman needed to take care of. “It’s hard but you have to make that sort of effort to stay in a good zone and a good mindset, to be happy playing second fiddle in a big tournament like this throughout all the games to be thinking about bouncing back after a setback.”
The top ODI batsman called the Champions Trophy final between India and Pakistan as a normal game saying India did normal things in practice. “There is no over-excitement. 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.”
He recalled that he had earlier said it was just another game of cricket tomorrow, and whatever the result, they had to go forward and play more games after that.
Kohli said being relaxed in these kind of situation was a good thing because it helped take better decisions when you are mentally composed and calm. “You can help the team come out of difficult situations only if you are thinking in that manner.”
He said the final will be a new game and there will be no effects of their 124-run big win over the same rivals. “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.”
Commenting on Pakistan’s win against England, the Indian captain said everyone was aware of the kind of talent they had in their team, and on their day they could beat any side in the world. “That’s the kind of players they have, and that’s the kind of ability they have in their side.”
He said the Indian side was quite aware of its rivals but at the same time, neither was it too intimidated nor was it too arrogant about what it had been doing. “It’s important to maintain the balance of being confident in your own skill and what you are doing as a team,” Kohli said while hoping that it will not be a mis-match like the June 4 game.
The Indian captain said, “I’m sure it’s going to be a very good, 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.”