Champions Trophy 2017 | Virat Kohli confident of India's performance against South Africa

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Champions Trophy 2017 | Virat Kohli confident of India's performance against South Africa

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SportsCafe Desk


Virat Kohli has batted the Indian team to perform well under pressure against their South African counterparts when the two sides go face to face tomorrow in a virtual quarterfinal. India will go into the game after suffering a crushing seven-wicket defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka.

The men in blue are set to take on South Africa tomorrow in a bid to advance to the semi-finals of the tournament and Indian skipper Virat Kohli expressed excitement while mentioning the high stakes in the match. However, the 28-year old stated that the simplicity of thought is what will help India in the pressurising contest.

"It's become very exciting. Every game is effectively a quarter-final now,In our group especially, all teams are on two points, and you have to win your next game to go through, which is an exciting position to be in for all teams." Kohli said.

"It's a great scenario where you literally have two matches now which are going to be even more competitive cricket. So we are pretty clear about the whole situation. It certainly opened up the whole table for sure. "Even if we had four points on the board right now, we still would have gone out there to try to beat South Africa, and that's exactly the mindset we are going to take into the next game." Kohli added.

South Africa, like India, slumped to a surprise loss against underdogs Pakistan in a rain-curtailed match that along with India's loss to Sri Lanka turned every Group B game into a virtual quarterfinal. The Proteas were disappointing in both batting as well as bowling against Pakistan as they posted a modest 219 while batting first and failed to defend the total as Pakistan marched onto win the match by 19 runs after rains interrupted the play.

However, Virat Kohli warned the Indian team not to take the number one ranked ODI side lightly ahead of their tie.

"We are against a very high quality side and we have to go out there and play good cricket. So there's no room for complacency in a tournament like this, and we as a team certainly don't feel that." he said.

India posted a monstrous total of 321 against Sri Lanka courtesy some power-packed batting by Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, and MS Dhoni. However, the men in blue failed to defend the score when the Indian bowling was battered mercilessly by the Sri Lankan top-order. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the only bowler who struck for India and the last two wickets came from run-outs.

The Delhi batsmen hinted that changes in the team might be on the cards after India's lacklustre bowling performance in the last game.

"We will have to sit down and think of how we match up against the opposition that we're playing against.As I said, all options are open. We had certain things in mind which didn't come off well against Sri Lanka.

"There will be a lot of things discussed, what went wrong and what combinations we can come out with in the next game.If you want to bring in a bit more balance into the bowling attack by changing it up a little bit, that will be up for discussion as well," he added.

The South African side will come into the match with injury concerns for their skipper AB de Villiers who suffered a hamstring injury in the match against Pakistan. The explosive batsman has not been able to break free so far and has just scored a meagre four runs which include his first golden duck in the ODIs.

However, South African coach Russell Domingo was confident that the talismanic player would turn up the heat on the Indian side while dismissing the injury as a minor niggle.

"He's a quality player, everybody gets first-ballers, it's just taken him 200 games! I've got no concerns with AB de Villiers.He did pick up a bit of a niggle with his hamstring but the medical team will have a look at it.But I'm expecting a big performance from him on Sunday. He's that type of player that when the team needs him he'll turn it up, I'm sure about that." Domingo said.

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