Virat Kohli pays rich tribute to predecessor before India's ICC Champions Trophy semi-final against Bangladesh
The current Bangladesh team is no more a punching bag. Take them lightly at your peril. Indian skipper Virat Kohli and his team fully realise this as there was not a sign of complacency when the players went through rigorous training session on the eve of their semifinal at Edgbaston on Wednesday.
"Bangladesh or any other team... it does not make a difference to the way we prepare and plan for the match. As I have said earlier too, in the Champions Trophy there are no easy matches. All I can say is we are determined to make it to the second successive final. The last time we were led beautifully by MS (Dhoni) and I take huge inspiration from him," Kohli said.
Four years ago, India had won the final here at Edgbaston, defeating hosts England in a close finish. This time around, they are up against upbeat Bangladesh at the same venue in the semi-final, looking to do an encore, be it Pakistan or England, who clashed in the first semi-final on Wednesday.
Being beaten by Sri Lanka in the league stage at the Oval was a wake-up call and an opportunity for India to re-think their strategy. Bringing in off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin provided a much-needed boost to the bowling attack that tightened the noose around South African necks and set up an easy win.
"We have done really well in two (league) games. One game (vs Sri Lanka) we had an off-day, which we discussed thoroughly and made amends accordingly. It will be not much different from the way we had planned for these games," said Kohli.
These days, think-tanks keep cards close to their chest and do not reveal much in terms of strategy. Thus, it would be interesting to see if Kohli prefers to get back Umesh Yadav or goes with an unchanged line-up, which did so well against the Proteas.
Birmingham is a happy hunting ground for India and with Indian supporters set to flock in great numbers, the atmosphere is going to be electric. "We have done well at Edgbaston in recent times. The pitch too suits our game and the crowd support is tremendous which lifts us to do well. We are confident of making it to the final," Kohli said.