Virat Kohli stood in a corner and grinned. Young Edward, a wisp of a boy clad in suit and wearing a hat, stood on the podium and spoke about how Sunday’s World Cup game at Edgbaston here, would help raise money for children. And then Neha asked Kohli about how excited he is about the match involving England, the Indian captain, all grace and sunshine, replied: “We are very proud that we are a part of such a special game and we are very excited.”
The skipper then handled the tougher queries from cricket correspondents on Saturday.
He spoke at length about his team’s mind-space, supported Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Vijay Shankar, refused to read much into England’s recent slide and interestingly gave an eight out of ten for the new orange jersey.
On England's woes and India's success
We thought England is probably going to dominate in their own conditions, but as I said at the beginning of the tournament, that pressure is going to be a massive factor to handle and low scores are going to be defended. Anyone can beat anyone on the day. We got a scare from Afghanistan so you can't take anything for granted. Other teams have outplayed England on occasions, and that can happen to any side. Although we haven't lost a game, we can't be complacent. The reason why we won is that we have been very professional and precise in pressure moments.
Whispers about slow pitches
We didn't come here with any kind of expectation of how the pitches are going to be. To be a quality side, you need to adapt to the situation. In the last two games, I literally experienced that the pitch deteriorated while I was playing. I don’t go with a fixed mindset and if the pitch is not according to what I am feeling, it is not as if I will slog and get out. I think it's about finding ways to win, finding ways to score runs.
A beast called pressure
The more basic you can keep things in a tournament like the World Cup, the better chances you have of being one up against the opposition. The more you attach emotion, excitement or too much pressure to an occasion, you can't make good decisions. People have stepped up at different times and have given a total team performance. It's very simple -- focus on your skill sets and not too much on the opposition.
Vijay Shankar at number four
He had a decent game against Pakistan. Against Afghanistan and on that pitch, he looked really assured. Last game (against the West Indies), he looked really good and then he gets a beautiful ball from Kemar Roach. Sometimes in cricket you just need a bit of luck to get over from 30 to 60, and then you play a defining knock. He is very close to that.
Dhoni's slow, steady runs
He knows exactly what he needs to do. What we know inside the change room is the most important thing to us and we have total belief in him. He has stood up for the team many times. I don't think it's fair to point out one or two performances in which anyone can falter. After the Afghanistan game, he went into the nets, worked hard and got us a winning total against the West Indies. We are very happy with where we stand as a team and how the batting is going at the moment.
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