As India face arch-rivals Pakistan in the ICC World Cup 2019 at Manchester on Sunday, all eyes will be on the weather that could well interrupt the proceedings and also be detrimental in deciding the winner of the encounter.
On the eve of the crucial battle, India skipper Kohli hinted that the weather could make them try a different combination for the upcoming match.
“The conditions and length of the game will obviously make us think about a few combinations we could potentially go in with. The kind of spinners and bowlers we have, it’s difficult for any team to come out and attack them straightaway. There’s a risk involved with doing that.
“We’ll have to be flexible, can’t be rigid in approach. If conditions are very different, we’ll think of different combinations. If pace becomes a more potent option we’ll look to explore that,” Kohli said.
Opener Shikhar Dhawan won’t be a part of the match as he is still recovering from a hairline fracture in his left thumb but Kohli said that he is not worried about the opener’s unavailability or fitness.
“I’m not nervous or tensed about Dhawan’s injury. We selected a squad with people who can step in in any situation. It’s unfortunate, Dhawan is a match winner and it’s a shock when he misses. But there’s no tension or stress.”
A lot of buzz has been created around the match and understandably so. But Kohli is of the opinion that the team can’t be taking a lot of pressure and the mindset of players is different from that of the fans.
“We know that they (Pakistan) have a lot of talent. but we know if we play well, we play really well as a team. We saw that in the first two games, clinical performances. We focus on our strengths, not the opposition. If we play to our potential we can beat any side in the world.
“I can’t tell the fans to think of the game in a particular manner. For us, we can’t get too emotional. Our mindset is different from the fans’.
“I would’t say it’s easy for fans to think like a player. It’s crucial for us to absolutely professional. I don’t see it as a challenge (that India don’t play Pak often).
“For us the most important thing is to focus on us as a team, on what our strengths are.”
He further added that India-Pakistan clash is not ‘more special’ than any other match for the team.
“No one game is more special for us than the other.
“As cricketers playing for the country, it’s our responsibility to treat every game equally. The best way to approach something like this, if the focus is too much elsewhere outside, the game isn’t going to last a lifetime. It’s one thing that keeps you grounded as a cricketer. Whether the team does well or not, the tournament goes on. The focus has to be on the larger picture.”