Indian skipper Virat Kohli has insisted that most of the cricketing fans are anticipating England and India to battle it out in the finals of the ICC Champions Trophy event. Kohli has further added that the unpredictable English conditions are beautiful as well as challenging for any batsman.
India made it to the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy to keep their hopes of a successful title defence alive after a topsy-turvy ride in the group stages of the tournament where the Men in Blue convincingly thrashed Pakistan only to be defeated by Sri Lanka to make their match against South Africa a virtual quarterfinal.
"It would not have mattered who we were playing in the semis. The league phase is the toughest. We have an opportunity to win one game and enter the finals. Everyone wants to see an India-England final. If both teams play well, people might get what they want to see," Kohli told PTI at a special reception hosted by the Indian high commission at the Lord's cricket ground.
However, the Indian side put up an all-around performance to force the Proteas to bow out of an ICC event yet again to set up a semi-final clash with the gritty Bangladesh, who have been spectacular in the tournament so far.
When questioned regarding his pick on who to take on in the finals Kohli replied,"Anyone. We would just be happy to be in the finals."
Kohli further added that it was a treat to be cheered by a sea of blue fans on whichever ground in England the team played but cautioned on the unpredictable conditions that came along.
"If there is a sunny day in England, there is no better place to play cricket. The white ball hasn't historically swung as much here. When the clouds come in, the conditions become a bit more difficult," he said.
"You have to respect the conditions here regardless of what score you are batting at. That is the beautiful thing about playing here, it challenges you as a batsman," he added.
The reception was also graced by the likes of former Indian cricketers Farookh Engineer, Dilip Doshi, former England players Andrew Strauss and Monty Panesar, former Indian skipper MS Dhoni and head coach Anil Kumble.
India or West Indies? Who will win?
WI hold a 60-53 H2H advantage over IND historically but in last 10 completed games between them , IND have won 7. IND has also won all last 5 games at this venue.