India skipper Virat Kohli prepared for most challenging World Cup campaign of his career

Sudhir Gupta 22/05/2019
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Kohli is set to embark on his third 50-over World Cup campaign for India.

India skipper Virat Kohli believes that the upcoming edition of the 50-over World Cup in England will be the most challenging one of his 11-year international career so far.

Set to embark on his third World Cup campaign, the India captain feels that the change in format for the 2019 edition will present a difficult challenge for all of the 10 participating teams.

The 2019 World Cup sees the 10 teams play each other once in a round-robin group-stage before the top four sides move on to the semi-finals. India have a tough start to their campaign with their first four opponents being South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and arch-rivals Pakistan but Kohli believes facing the top sides early on will hold the team in good stead.

“It is probably the most challenging World Cup of all the three that I have been part of because of the format and looking at the strength of the all the sides as well,” Kohli stated ahead of the team’s departure for England on Tuesday.

“If we live up to our skill sets and our standards that we set for ourselves, we’ll be on the right side of the result more often. That is going to be key. Every game you have to play to the best of your potential because it’s not a group stage anymore, it’s playing everyone once.

Kohli is confident of India's chances of landing a third WC title.

Kohli is confident of India’s chances of landing a third WC title.

“The best thing is that we’ll have four tough games straight up and that will set the tone nicely for us. Everyone has to be at their best intensity from the first match onwards and we don’t have any room for complacency.”

Having won the competition previously on home soil in 2011, Kohli feels that handling pressure in England will be key if India are to clinch a third World Cup title.

“A team that does well at the World Cup is a team that can handle pressure well and secondly try and be as normal as possible. Looking at the magnitude of those games, the team that stays more focused and more balanced can go on to win the tournament,” the 30-year-old said.

India will play two warm-up games in England before starting their 2019 World Cup campaign with the first of them coming against New Zealand on May 25. They will then take on Bangladesh three days later before locking horns with South Africa in their World Cup campaign opener on June 5.

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