Virat Kohli plays down hype surrounding India-Pakistan Asia Cup clash
Cricket fans all over the world are eagerly looking forward to the India-Pakistan encounter in the first ever T20 Asia Cup due to be played this Saturday. However, in Virat Kohli's opinion, it is just like a match with any other opposition for the team.
Speaking to Oneindia.com a day prior to the highly anticipated encounter, Kohli said, "We treat all teams as same. There is no difference for me while playing against Pakistan. We go to the field to play cricket with bat and ball."
This is the first of two high-stakes clashes scheduled between the arch rivals within a span of one month. India and Pakistan will meet again in the ICC World Twenty20 on March 19 at the picturesque Dharamsala stadium. There is also the possibility of the two nations colliding in the final of the Asia Cup, making it a mouth-watering prospect for the fans.
The hype surrounding India-Pakistan matches at major events among the fans is mainly due to the dearth of bilateral series involving the two neighbouring nations. In fact, the last competitive match between them was during the 2015 ICC World Cup almost a year ago.
But according to Virat Kohli, he and the rest of the players have a completely different take on encounters against the Pakistanis. "For me, mentally, there is no difference. I always follow that - treat all teams same. Pakistan is a strong team and we want to do well against them. Competition will be good. There is a lot of hype created around the contest but on the field it is normal for us players.", the Indian Test skipper stated further.
Kohli had scored a century during the Indo-Pak match at last year's World Cup and will be looking to emulate his feat at the Asia Cup as well. He may also have a point to prove after failing in the opening game of the tournament against Bangladesh.