India’s Champions Trophy campaign will begin against Pakistan on June 4.
Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli while speaking to media before leaving for England for the ICC Champions Trophy said there is a lot of difference between T20 and 50-over matches but it helps you to stay match fit.
Kohli who will be leading India in a major ICC tournament for the first time, said since the tournament is shorter, there is no scope of making a mistake and the team has to be ready for the very first game.
Speaking about MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh’s inclusion in the team, Kohli said both of them are big players and there is no need to guide them. He added that they are the strongest pillars of the team and if they perform well, it boosts the morale of the entire team.
With Yuvraj and Dhoni both nearing the end of their careers and with the future of the Champions Trophy in doubt, this might just be their last chance to win the trophy for India.
Kohli hoped that Yuvraj and Dhoni keep playing freely as they did in India’s last ODI series against England. Hinting that Shikhar Dhawan might be India’s first choice opener along with Rohit Sharma, Kohli said this partnership was one of the strongest points for the team in the last championship when India emerged as the champions.
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As we all know, India go into the tournament as defending champions having won the tournament back in 2013. A young side back then, the team defied the odds to defeat England in the final in their own backyard.
“In the last Champions Trophy, I felt there were three take ways for us. One was the opening partnerships and the revelation of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma as an opening pair. It was a great thing to see for Indian cricket team fans and for us as a team as well.
In addition to that, Ashwin and Jadeja and the fast bowlers bowled extremely well. Our fielding was the best in the tournament back then. These were the three things we identified back then and we would like to stick to the same thing this time around as well,” he concluded.
India will begin their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on June 4 in Birmingham after which they will take on Sri Lanka and South Africa in their subsequent group stage matches.
Here are the Match Schedules:
May 26: India vs Bangladesh, warm-up
May 28: India vs New Zealand, warm-up
June 4: India v Pakistan, Birmingham, 3:00 PM IST (Group B)
June 8: India v Sri Lanka, London, 3:00 PM IST (Group B)
June 11: India v South Africa, London, 3:00 PM IST (Group B)