India’s best chances of defending the Champions Trophy title next month will be if they do not burden themselves with the prospect, skipper Virat Kohli said on Wednesday.
Kohli was part of the Indian team who trumped hosts England in the 2013 final at Edgbaston, and he said he recalled no creased foreheads in that victorious dressing room.
The same carefree attitude has been the hallmark of the Indian team who are currently the number one test side, and Kohli saw no reason why it would not work in the one-day format.
Kohli demanded from his team the kind of “ruthlessness” evident when they won 10 of 13 tests on home soil last season.
India’s batting mainstay also reminded his team that there would be little margin for error in the June 1-18 tournament featuring top eight one-day sides.
“In Champions Trophy, you need to be on top of your game from game one. If not, your chances go down pretty soon. I think that’s the biggest challenge in Champions Trophy.”
India, who begin their Group B campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan in Birmingham on June 4, preferred experience over youth when selecting the squad, which includes former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and limited-overs stalwart Yuvraj Singh.
Kohli predicted significant contributions from both the senior players.