Indian skipper Kohli denies reports of rift with coach

With India and Pakistan all set to take on each other in the much awaited match today at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground here, fans of the men in blue in Delhi and Punjab can not wait for the battle to start and watch their team crush the arch-rivals.

Arthur, appointed Pakistan coach in May previous year, added: “When we started this, the players would go and hit balls and hit balls and wouldn’t really know when to stop”.

“At the global level, there is pressure before any game. I carry on with my normal life”, Kohli said, explaining how he has ignored reports on discontent in the Indian dressing room over Kumble.

“If you’re on the same page you get correct decisions and you give clarity to your team”. There is always pressure.

With their plans set, Arthur believes that Pakistan are ready to tackle the nerves that come along with big games such as the one against India.

“We are very hopeful of playing well in this tournament and we want to win it”.

“I’m sure all the other teams don’t put more price on one game than another”. Of course, there are people who easily bet amounts like Rs10,000-20,000 on these, but when it is an India-Pakistan game, then the sky is the limit. And this isn’t just against Pakistan.

“I haven’t seen too many youngsters capable of handling pressure in the current Pakistani set-up”, the 36-year-old said. “Dhoni can win you matches not just as a batsman but also as a wicketkeeper, as a leader”, Harbhajan said. When India and Pakistan played in 2016 during T-20, one of the students from our hostel bet Rs20,000 on a player from India and lost it. “We’ve got an off-spinner (Shoaib Malik)”.

“We’ve got a left-arm spinner”. Sarfraz’s battle with Jadeja will be an intriguing one as Jadeja is quick in the air and is a very hard bowler to use one’s feet to. In the bowling department, Pakistan has Mohammad Amir. He has played two matches against India and picked up two wickets. As ESPNcricinfo pointed out, there is plenty of internal turmoil for the India squad, reportedly the most since the 2007 World Cup. “Pakistan can beat anyone on their day”.

“We don’t know what’s going on”, Pakistan coach Arthur, also speaking at Edgbaston, told reporters. Some people don’t. I personally don’t.

Think of dropped catches and misfields, the first thing that crops up in your mind is Pakistan. Even in the warm-up games, Rahane struggled and his form will be a prime concern. There were a lot of celebrities and top personalities in the stadium just to watch the two teams clash. Bookies in Delhi expect receiving twice as many bets as any other India game and over five times as many bets as any other game in the Champions Trophy. In a tournament like this, you can’t pick and choose. But the big question for Kohli is whether to go in with three pace bowlers and two spinners or play Hardik Pandya, a seamer who can bat, at the expense of a spinner. They must try and attack, especially when he is new at the crease. We’re feeling really confident as a team.

Harbhajan Singh