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Asia Cup: Captain Kohli not giving undue importance to Pakistan match

Last updated on: February 24, 2014 14:36 IST

'Being India captain is a tough position to be in'



India’s stand-in captain Virat Kohli is a cool man. Despite the obvious pressure before the Asia Cup that begins this week, he is relaxed and looking forward to leading the team.

Kohli-led India leave for Bangladesh with eye on Asia Cup title

"I don't think this is anything compared to what he (Mahendra Singh Dhoni) has gone through in the past few years," Kohli said, while addressing the media after the team's arrival in Dhaka.

"I am captain for just one tournament. It is completely different from regularly captaining the side. When you win, you're praised; when you lose, you're criticised.  

"I am not in a position right now to experience all that. I have got this one-odd opportunity, like I did in the past as well. I am sure it is a very tough position to be in. You have to be ready to take all the criticism and praise that comes your way," he added.

Kohli was appointed to lead the team after Dhoni, who is under the scanner following the team's dismal showing on the recent tours to South Africa and New Zealand, was forced out because of a side strain.

India begin their Asia Cup campaign on Wednesday against Bangladesh, at Fatullah, near Dhaka.

The 25-year-old batsman, whose fine form was one of the few positives during India’s winless streak in South Africa and New Zealand, said he is set for the challenge of captaincy.

Image: Virat Kohli
Photographs: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images


'A match against Pakistan is always hyped and big pressure'

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"I have only been captain for about eight games till now. It went pretty good, but this is a big tournament. It's a challenge I'm looking forward to. We have got a young group of guys and some exciting players.

"I think that excites me to have a group that I can have a chat with and be on the same page. It's important to have an understanding. It's really exciting for me to improve the record, which is already good. I'm looking forward to the tournament," he said.

Asked about the much-anticipated match against Pakistan on March 2, Kohli said the team's target is winning the tournament and not just one grudge match against the traditional rivals.

"Obviously, we are here to win the tournament. We haven't just come here to play one game and go back home; that's not our aim. Our aim is to win every game that we play. A game against Pakistan is always a hyped; obviously, a big pressure match.

"We take every game the same way. The aim is to win the tournament, not just one game, and to make sure people are happy," he added.

Image: Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane
Photographs: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

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