The much-awaited International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy fixture will hold no special importance for the Indian cricket team when they clash against arch-rivals Pakistan on June 4.
Virat Kohli, who will captain the defending champions in the eight-team tournament believes the traditionally high-voltage encounter will be just another outing for his side.
“There is no need to motivate players any differently. If you’re playing for India, there is no need for any separate motivation,” said Kohli during a press conference on Wednesday.
Pakistan and India have not played against each other in a bilateral series since 2012 due to political tension. The neighbouring countries lock horns with each other on the cricketing field only occasionally in ICC events.
The low-frequency of the fixture makes it special for the fans on both sides of the border and around the world whenever it is held, but for Kohli “There is no need to prepare differently for the game”.
“You need to play with the same kind of passion regardless of who you play against,” believed the 28-year-old.
Kohli, however, did recognize the game’s importance for the fans on both sides.
“Yes an Indo-Pak game is always exciting. For people watching in the stadium, the game is different. If you ask players from both sides, it is like any other game,” he said.
After kicking off their Champions Trophy campaign against Pakistan, India play Sri Lanka and South Africa on June 8 and 11 respectively.