You have to be at your absolute best to face Pakistan, says Kohli

As Pakistan and India get ready to face each other tomorrow (Saturday) in their first encounter of the ongoing Asia Cup, cricket icon Virat Kohli already seems to be preparing his team for an intense clash as he is clearly not underestimating the Green Shirts.

In a clip shared by India’s Star Sports channel of Kohli’s interview, titled ‘Prime Time With Virat Kohli’, the legend termed the upcoming match as an “exciting challenge” and stated: “You have to be at your absolute best to face them (Pakistan).”

Talking about what the Men in Blue expected from their arch-rivals, Kohli said, “It’s an exciting challenge every time you play Pakistan because they have a lot of talent in their team.”

The cricket star did not miss the chance to praise Pakistan’s bowling team, saying, “They are a quality team overall but I feel bowling is their strength. They have got some really impactful bowlers that can change the course of the game anytime based on their skill set.”

Kohli also explained how the one-day international (ODI) format has “always brought the best” out of him.

“I like to embrace that challenge and play according to my situation to help my team win, and I’ve always tried to do that,” he added.

“For me, ODI cricket is probably the one format which tests your game completely — your technique, your composure, patience, playing the situation and playing differently in different phases of the game. I think it tests you as a batsman completely.”

The former Indian captain went on to expand on his motivations and mindset behind his consistent superb performance: “I have always worked on how I can improve myself — every day, in every practice session, every year, every season.”

Kohli further said, “I don’t think you can perform consistently without that mindset because if your performance is the only goal, then after a certain period, you can also stop working hard after being satisfied.”

“I do not know the definition of excellence,” he stated, adding that it had “no limit and there is no set achievement that you have achieved excellence once you reach that point”.

The cricket superstar said, “I think I try to work towards betterment every day. Performance, of course, becomes a by-product because your mindset is ‘how I can make my team win here’.”

Kohli asserted his mindset has always been about figuring out how performing well would “make me a better player” or “put the team in a better position’.

In another clip from the same interview, shared by Star Sports a day ago, the Indian player said, “White ball cricket mindset has always been to be aggressive. It’s important to be aware of what the situation of the game is regardless of how you want to play.

Kohli also stressed the importance of maintaining composure during lengthy one-day matches.

“You can’t one-dimensional cricket in ODIs for sure, especially in big tournaments, because the pressure is that much more so composure is what wins you games.”

“I think still in ODI cricket, there’s a huge place for composure,” he added.

The clip shared by the Indian website showed the Men in Blue practising rigorously during a 6-day training camp held in Bengaluru “right before the Asia Cup”.

It detailed the various bowling and batting strategies put to test by Kohli and his teammates during the practice session, and deliberating on their chances of success.

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