KOHLI WANTS TO DAZZLE

Des­per­ate to prove a point in Eng­land af­ter dis­mal show­ing last time out

New Straits Times - - Sport - VIRAT KOHLI

LON­DON the team and I want to suc­ceed, al­though not to prove a point. It mo­ti­vates me fur­ther to come back and do bet­ter.

“For me it is a game of cricket. From then to now, I have shown I am strong men­tally. Eng­land brings a lot for chal­lenges for a bats­men and I want to over­come them per­son­ally for my sat­is­fac­tion at the end of my ca­reer. From that point of view, it is ex­cit­ing for me.”

Kohli’s In­dia won the last edi­tion of the Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy, also played in Eng­land, in 2013, de­feat­ing the hosts by just five runs in a fi­nal re­duced to 20 overs a side due to rain.

Kohli played a key role, end­ing the trun­cated game with a top score of 43.

The 2017 eight-na­tion Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy gets un­der way on

If you talk about the longer for­mat of the game then I did not do well here three years ago.

June 1 and runs un­til June 18.

In­dia are in the same group as bit­ter ri­vals Pak­istan, against whom they open their cam­paign at Edg­bas­ton on Thurs­day, Sri Lanka and South Africa.

In­dia have not played a 50-over match since beat­ing Eng­land 2-1 on home ground in Jan­uary.

“I am very ex­cited to be play­ing as cap­tain in my first ma­jor ICC com­pe­ti­tion,” added Kohli.

“As far as the team go, we won last time be­cause our fast bowlers did very well, our spin­ners were strong and our open­ing bats­man did well. They were the main three fac­tors.

“This year the team are a lot fit­ter, the crick­eters are a lot more ma­ture be­cause that was a very young group four years ago.”

Kohli may be the star of the team, but old stagers Yu­vraj Singh and for­mer skip­per Ma­hen­dra Singh Dhoni still have ma­jor roles to play.

“We needed to strengthen our lower mid­dle or­der con­tri­bu­tion. Too much bur­den was on MS (Dhoni),” said Kohli.

“He was not able to ex­press him­self. But now we are bal­anced, we have good fast bowlers, depth in bat­ting and the se­ries against Eng­land sealed it for us.

“We are in a good head-space go­ing into this tour­na­ment.” AFP

AP PIC

Virat Kohli is ex­cited to be play­ing as cap­tain in his first ma­jor ICC com­pe­ti­tion.

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