India vs Pakistan: Captain Sarfraz Ahmed says they have plans to get Virat Kohli out early in Champions Trophy clash

PTI, Jun, 03 2017

Birmingham: Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed on Saturday said they "have plans in place" for Indian batting mainstay Virat Kohli and seemed confident of his team's chances in the ICC Champions Trophy.

Arch-rivals India and Pakistan resume their rivalry on the world stage with the much-awaited match at the Edgbaston.

Much of the attention has been centered around the Indian captain Kohli, who had in the past played some great knocks against Pakistan.

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur, right, attends a press conference with Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed, left, ahead of their ICC Champions Trophy Group B match against India at Edgbaston in Birmingham, England, Saturday, June 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Pakistan captain Sarfraz ahmed and coach Mickey Arthur at a press conference in Birmingham. AP

"There's no doubt that Kohli is a good player, but we have our plans in place for him. He's their captain and best player, we will look to get him out early so that there is pressure on the rest of their players," Ahmed said at the pre-match press conference.

Considering the cut-throat nature of the competition, both the teams would be desperate to start the campaign on a winning note.

India have an all-win record against the arch-rivals in World Cups, but Pakistan hold an edge in the Champions Trophy.

India have only managed to win once in their three meetings against Pakistan in the tournament.

"India do have a strong line-up on paper, but we have prepared well too.

"It's always a big occasion when India and Pakistan play against each other, but we have tried our best to stay away from all the noise around us. I've told the boys to not pay attention to what people are saying or writing, but to focus on their cricket."

Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi recently said that India are the better team and the favourites to win the game. Reacting to this, Ahmed said that in cricket anything is possible on any given day.

"India does have a better team, but the pressure will also be on them. If we win our ranking will go up, but if they lose their ranking will fall."

Despite tensions on the border, Ahmed also made it clear that the players from both countries share a warm relationship off the field.

"We have always shared a healthy equation with them off the field. Players from both teams have spent good times with each other over the years.

"I haven't played against India since a while now, but I'm sure we'll all be friendly when we meet. Though I can't say that will be the case on the field.

Published Date: Jun 03, 2017 | Updated Date: Jun 03, 2017

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4493 125
2 South Africa 3395 110
3 England 4097 105
4 Australia 3087 100
5 New Zealand 3114 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 5957 119
2 Australia 5505 117
3 India 4579 114
4 England 5645 113
5 New Zealand 5123 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 1625 125
2 England 1962 123
3 Pakistan 2417 121
4 West Indies 2222 117
5 India 2183 115