T20 World Cup 2021: Virat Kohli says he’s approaching match against Pakistan as “another game of cricket”

Virat Kohli | GETTY

India skipper Virat Kohli on Saturday (October 16) downplayed the hype around their clash with arch-rivals Pakistan in the 2021 T20 World Cup on October 24. Kohli said it’s just another match for India and he doesn’t feel any different except for the high demand for tickets.

India and Pakistan haven’t played a bilateral series since 2012 and they only take on each other in ICC or ACC tournaments. When asked if he feels different whenever India faces Pakistan, Kohli replied, “I honestly never felt so.” 

The India skipper further added, “I have just approached this game as another game of cricket and I know there is a lot of hype around this game, more so with ticket sales and demands of tickets.”

Kohli joked that he has refused a lot of friends who asked him for tickets of the high-voltage clash in Dubai. “… and right now, the value of those tickets are ridiculously high and that’s all I know, my friends are demanding tickets right left and center and I am saying, ‘no’,” he said.

The 32-year-old said they will play the game in the right spirit and would try to stay as professional as they can despite the excitement among the fans for the match.

“Apart from that, I don’t think we can make anything extra out of this game and for us, it’s a game of cricket that has to be played in the right spirit, in the way we know we can,” he said.

“Yes, the environment you can say is different from the outside and from fans’ point of view, definitely more excitement in the air but from a players’ point of view, we try to stay as professional as we can and always approach the game in the most normal way possible,” Kohli said.

The last time when India faced Pakistan in the 2019 World Cup, they defeated them by 89 runs (DLS method).