Pakistan can surprise opponent at any time: Kohli

BIRMINGHAM: Indian captain Virat Kohli feels that infrequent encounters against Pakistan in cricket has restricted their awareness of the opponent’s and they can’t do much more than just focusing on their own game.

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Talking ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy match against Pakistan, Kohli said that Pakistan is a team which can surprise its opponent anytime and it’s a team which can’t be taken lightly.

“As a team, I think they can surprise you because you don’t play against them so much. You know of their abilities. But you’re not too aware of how they react in different situations. All you can do in that situation is focus on your skill,” Kohli said when asked if rare encounters between two have made any impact on Sunday’s game.

“You cannot ever take them lightly. And not being familiar with the way they bowl or bat, I don’t think it’s going to be a massive factor for us because we as a team like to focus on what we can do,” he added.

Kohli added that India’s final XI hasn’t been finalised as yet and he was still thinking about players who would be included for the match against Pakistan.

“There are all kinds of possibilities — two spinners, two fast bowlers, three fast bowlers, Hardik and a spinner. So we’ll see what the wicket is like and what we feel is going to match up well against the opposition. Accordingly, we’ll pick our best bowling attack. But as you mentioned everyone is bowling really well,” he said.

Replying to a question, the Indian skipper tried to play down the intensity of the match saying that it is like just another game for them and they’re looking forward to it.

“Nothing is different, to be honest,” he said when asked if Pakistan vs India carries more pressure than other games.

“I know it sounds pretty boring, but this is exactly what we feel as cricketers. We’re not saying anything different to what we feel. And for us, it’s a matter of executing what we know best regardless of who we are playing against. And I’m sure every team thinks like that,” Kohli said.

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