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No pressure on us ahead of ICC CT final: Virat Kohli

18 June 2017

India skipper Virat Kohli dives to take a catch during a practice session on the eve of the Champions Trophy final against Pakistan at The Oval on Saturday.

Pakistan has surprised everyone in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 after being ranked eighth coming into the tournament and was well and truly beaten in its first match against India.

"Very happy that we have found a core group of players who we can take forward and can work with in the 2019 World Cup", stated Arthur.

"I don't see any relevance of the first game here. Regardless of who you play in the finals, it's always going to be challenging because once you start thinking that it's a big game, then your mindset changes", added Kohli.

Though he acknowledged that Pakistan have improved vastly after their 124-run defeat to India in their tournament opener, especially in the bowling department, Saha feels that India have played consistently well throughout the series.

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"It is massive", said Azhar. The billions of passionate cricket fans from both nations would be hoping that their team emerges victorious on the green turf, thereby giving a sense of boost to their cricketing pedigree and uplifting their national pride.

32 - First time since 1984/85 that India are clashing with Pakistan in the final of a multi-national tournament.

"He's fit to play, and he will play", said Arthur in answer to a question from AFP.

But he was hardly missed on Wednesday, with fellow left-arm paceman Rumman Raees, making his one-day worldwide debut, taking two for 44 as England were skittled out for just 211.

The India captain and world's No.1 ODI batsman wants to avoid any potential social media distractions which might stop his men focusing fully on retaining the ICC Champions Trophy. As well as Kohli, their batting line-up boasts the likes of dynamic opening pair of Rohit Sharma, fresh from a hundred against Bangladesh, and Shikhar Dhawan with Yuvraj Singh, former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Hardik Pandya to come in if needed.

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But their middle-order has rarely been tested and Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed believed his bowlers could pose problems for India, even late in the innings. We dissected India a lot before that game at Edgbaston but we've backtracked a bit on that.

"The final overs usually involve a lot of pressure and especially if you are playing against India".

"Sri Lanka batted exceptionally well there". The bowling department for India under the likes of pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin have looked solid bowling economically while providing clinical breakthroughs.

"Pakistan can beat anyone on their day, everyone is aware the kind of talent and ability they have", said Kohli.

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No pressure on us ahead of ICC CT final: Virat Kohli