Kohli gives kudos to Pakistan

India skipper Virat Kohli has spoken of his admiration for Pakistan’s ability to turn things around after a rocky start to the Champions Trophy.

Pakistan have struggled on their travels in ODI cricket in the last twelve months being emphatically beaten in bilateral series in England, New Zealand and Australia.

Their victories over the West Indies carry little weight with the men from the Caribbean in disarray for some time now.

Pakistan started the Champions Trophy with a huge loss against India but bounced back with a DLS win over South Africa and a scrappy display against Sri Lanka but put on a bowling clinic against England in the semi-final to set up a rematch with India in the final.

Kohli said of Pakistan after India’s thrashing of Bangladesh: “Credit to them, they’ve turned around things for themselves really well. They’ve beaten sides that looked really strong against them, but the belief just showed on the field [with] the way they played together as a team.

“What we are going to try to do is repeat the similar sort of cricket that we have played so far, knowing the strengths and weaknesses they have. Obviously we’ll have to plan a bit according to that, but I don’t know there’s much that we need to change as a team.

“I don’t think we need to look too far away from what we are doing as a group, I think focus on our skills and our abilities and believe in ourselves on that particular day, and we’ll give ourselves a good chance to go out there and do some good things for the team.”

Kohli praised his frontline bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah for their contribution to India’s run to the final.

The skipper said: “They’ve been terrific initially, and in the later stages as well. Their length and line has been impeccable, so consistent, bowling close to the batsmen, always there with an opportunity to get a wicket. Even in conditions which are not offering too much, bowling such lines that we can produce wicket-taking opportunities.”