Birmingham: Team India Captain Virat Kohli has said that no team should be taken for granted and praised Bangladesh for their performance over the past few years.
Meeting the press here on Wednesday ahead of the semifinal clash, he said, “We have been in such games quite a few times, but there are no guarantees in this sport. As you have seen in this tournament, a lot of teams have surprised the opposition; We are certainly not taking anything for granted”.
Kohli further added, “It is no surprise to anyone that Bangladesh are doing well; all credit to their setup and the kind of players they have. Now with the kind of responsibility they have, they are a very dangerous side on their day,”
“Even in the World Cup, they performed well. Credit goes to them for what they have done over the last couple of years,” he added.
Kohli was also happy with India’s batting and the way the team has improved. When asked if India is too dependant on the top order to finish games, he said that any batsman would love to take the team across the finishing line.
“As a batsman, you think of finishing games. Given an opportunity, everyone would like to finish games. As I said, everyone is batting well,” he said.
Praising Kedar Jadhav and Jasprit Bumrah for their performances in the middle order, Kohli said they would shoulder the responsibility along with Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin if need be.
“Kedar and Hardik are playing well at the moment, rather they are looking for an opportunity if the team is in a bit of trouble am sure both of them are going to step up and take the team, along with Jaddu(Jadeja) and Ash(Ashwin)” he said.
He also congratulated Yuvraj Singh, who is set to play his 300th One Day International, for his “outstanding contribution” to Indian cricket and wished him the best.
“He has been a match winner for India, won us a lot of tournaments and series, and this is a testimony to the talent he possesses. I wish him all the very best, hopefully there is a lot to come from him,” said the Indian captain.
Brushing aside questions on the ICC World Cup in 2015 (when India knocked out Bangladesh in the Quarterfinals), Kohli commented, “It has been 24 months, I don’t think that anyone has been thinking about that game”.
He also added the importance of knockout games in similar tournaments. “Going into a big game like this, we will treat it how we treated the last game. Our mindset won’t differ,” Kohli said.
“When you reach the knockout stage, the team reaches a different zone. I haven’t made any special plans for this game. I try to keep things simple,” he clarified.
India will play their much-awaited semi-final against Bangladesh on Thursday....