Kohli Speaks About World Cup Pressure
The ICC World Cup format is one of the most challenging of cricket tournaments. It is therefore important that the India cricket team does not become complacent. As Virat Kohli commented recently, it was complacency that cost his team a tournament against Australia, causing a bit of an upset at the sportsbooks. Being fit both physically and mentally helps a team rise to the challenge, especially in a big tournament.
A Lesson Learnt says Virat Kohli
Kohli spoke about his team’s home series against Australia ahead of the Indian Premier League 2019. India began with a 2 – 0 lead in the five-match series. It seemed obvious that India would win another match and easily take the series. However, Australia fought hard, and ended up tasting a big victory on Indian soil.
Kohli noted: “If a team on a given day gets together against an experienced side, and believes more that they can win, it can happen. We learnt a lot from the Australia series. We were 2 – 0 up and we thought we are going to win one out of three. But they showed more passion, more character, and more determination than us. Australia enjoyed every moment, which we took a lot of learning from. If you play anyone in the World Cup, you have to have that passion and that commitment.”
India may be one of the top two favorites for the ICC World Cup, but they should not become overconfident. England and Australia are the biggest challenges for India, as is South Africa and New Zealand.
All Strong Teams in the World Cup
Kohli explained that there is a need to focus on the first few games in the World Cup. He said that you prepare for the later games by first focusing on the games at hand.
“We don’t single out any games because all 10 teams are strong,” said Kohli. “If we play good cricket, we are going to be in a good position. There are too many things to focus on the teams. We want players to focus on their skills, turn up on the day, and hopefully have that skill set better than the opposition.”
Another important factor that affects playing is how close the team is to the knockout stage. India’s captain said that when you get closer to the end, there is a large amount of pressure. The pressure has a huge impact on the second half of the 50-over tournament.
Teams may well target Kohli, who comes to the tournament in good shape. Other teams will want to limit Kohli’s run total.
“As an individual, you don’t really focus on who wants to get you out or if you are being spoken about more,” said Kohli.
Odds on Teams Reaching the Final
England – 1.72
India – 2.10
Australia – 2.75
New Zealand – 4.50
South Africa – 5.50
Sri Lanka – 17.00
Bangladesh – 26.00
Afghanistan – 34.00