India vs Pakistan: Things can go haywire if you approach this game too emotionally, says Virat Kohli

India vs Pakistan: Things can go haywire if you approach this game too emotionally, says Virat Kohli
India vs Pakistan: Things can go haywire if you approach this game too emotionally, says Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli said sticking to a set template helped India defeat Pakistan for the 7th time in World Cup history. This was one of the most highly-anticipated cricket matches in history but India kept their calm to secure an 89-run win (DLS).

On the eve of India vs Pakistan game at Old Trafford, Kohli said his team would be isolated from the hype surrounding the match. On Sunday at Old Trafford, Kohli and his men walked the talk. They appeared confident and executed their plans perfectly after being put in to bat.

India had lost to Pakistan in the last ODI the two countries played against each other in England – the Champions Trophy final. But on Sunday, India showed why they are so much better than Pakistan now. Kohli said his team did not approach the match with the same emotions as the fans and that helped.

“I think they outplayed us in the Champions Trophy final, but apart from that we have played good cricket against them. If you focus on this game with too much emotion, things can go haywire. We never approach these games from the fans’ atmosphere, but as cricketers we need to be professional and understand what needs to be done on the field,” Virat Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

Kohli heaped praise on man-of-the-match Rohit Sharma and his bowlers who set up a convincing victory.

“The template has been really nice in the first three games till now – Rohit single-handedly winning us in the first game, a team effort in the second and today was Rohit’s day again. You could say that to get to 330, you need a team effort, KL set a great foundation with Rohit and Rohit after getting to 70-75 is unstoppable and he showed again why he’s such a good ODI player,” Kohli said. “It allowed me to play a certain kind of role and it allowed Hardik to come and explode in the end. It has worked till now, gives us a lot of solidity in the middle and it is a role that I am happy playing for the team. It is going really nicely at the moment. Kuldeep was brilliant, those guys were only trying to play him out..”

Virat Kohli once again led by example. He had scored 82 against Australia at The Oval on June 9. A week later, he made a stylish 77 and watched from the other end as Rohit Sharma sent Pakistan on a leather hunt across Old Trafford.

Kohli was elated with India’s clinical performance. Every player has stepped up in the World Cup so far. With 3 wins from 4 matches (1 no result because of rain), India are strong contenders to reach the semi-finals. After a 6-day break, India will take on Afghanistan on June 22.

Before the high-profile match, Virat Kohli had said his team would take the Pakistan contest like any other. Kohli appeared relaxed when he spoke to the media and was just as assured on the field when he came out to join Rohit Sharma after a 136-run opening stand for India by Rohit and KL Rahul.