Virat Kohli has hinted at playing an unchanged team for the Champions Trophy final against Pakistan today. This means that Hardik Pandya will feature in the final as the Indian skipper is reluctant to change a winning combination. Kohli expected all the players to give more than 100% in the final.
"Not looking to change too many things because I would any day back a guy like Hardik, who provides you so much balance in conditions like England. He can be effective as a bowler and his batting is priceless," Kohli told reporters at the pre-match press conference.
Hardik Pandya has been one of the best players for India in the tournament, having smashed 20 runs off 6 balls against Pakistan when the teams met on June 4. Moreover, the 23-year old also posted figures of 2/39 in the semi-final against Bangladesh and Kohli has backed Pandya to come good once again. "If you are chasing a total where you need eight runs
Although India hammered Pakistan in their tournament opener, the Indian skipper dismissed the possibility of that win giving India an advantage heading into today’s final. "There is no guarantee that a team will always win or lose against any particular opposition. It all depends on how you perform and give your 100 percent on that day. We focus on the things within our control, so as I said we don't go after past records and statistics."
“I don't see any relevance of the first game here. You can never tell how a particular team starts a tournament. Some teams start off confidently but they fail later while some might not have the best starts but they come back amazingly which Pakistan has done," he said.
Kohli became the fastest man to amass 8000 runs in ODI’s, during his knock of 96* in the semi-final against Bangladesh and speaking about the spectacle of an Indo-Pak final he said, "It's going to be a very well-contested match. Both teams want to win the final. I'm sure all the players will come out and give their 120 percent.”
Having said that, the Delhi batsman denied having any special preparations for such games. "I have never believed in watching too many videos of anyone. I prepare in the best way I can. I believe in my abilities and if I feel I am technically good enough I should be able to counter any bowler. I don't take any extra pressure."
Finally, although India head into the final with a commanding 14-2 Head to head advantage against Pakistan in major ICC tournaments, Kohli felt that there are no certainties in such games. "Whether you have played people or you haven't, you cannot guarantee your performance. Even the bowlers whom you play regularly in a series, in two matches you can be on top of him and in the third he can
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.