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Ind v Pakistan 'just another game' for Kohli
ICC Champions Trophy

Ind v Pakistan 'just another game' for Kohli

It is just a game of cricket for us. – Indian skipper

Indian captain Virat Kohli played down the hype surrounding the hotly-anticipated clash against Pakistan, to be held on June 4 in Birmingham, before his side’s departure for the British Isles on Wednesday.


The two rivals will come face-to-face for the first time since their group-stage match during the ICC World T20 in India last year.


"As a cricketer you can't even think of the non-striker when you are facing a ball, so forget about things that are not in our control," Kohli said of playing Pakistan amid a tense political climate between the rivals.


"Yes, an India-Pakistan game is always exciting for all the fans watching but for us as cricketers, it's just a game of cricket."


India will play South Africa, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Group B, while England, Australia, Bangladesh and New Zealand form Group A. The two top sides from each group will progress to the semi-finals.

India won the last Champions Trophy in 2013 and head into June's tournament in England and Wales as favourites after a hugely successful home season with 10 Test wins.


" As a cricketer you can't even think of the non-striker when you are facing a ball, so forget about things that are not in our control. "

They are number one in the Test rankings after series victories over New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia, and hope to carry that form into the 50-over Champions Trophy event.


"The hunger to win and ruthlessness is what we speak about all the time. In Test cricket we have done well with that mindset," Kohli said.


"That goes a long way in a tournament like this. If we think in that manner, we will get the results we want more often than not."