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Virat Kohli thinks that England is the side to beat in Champions Trophy

Kohli said that England bat deep and have a fantastic bowling lineup.

India captain Virat Kohli
India captain Virat Kohli. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

Virat Kohli will be leading India for the first time in a major ICC event. He will also be looking to get his lost form back in England where he struggled in 2014. The Indian team has a lot at stake since they are the defending champions and have won a lot of matches at home in recent times.

It is time they do that overseas as well and the Champions Trophy will mark the start of an all new season. Hosts England have been termed as favourites by almost everyone who has answered this question and Kohli feels that as well. Talking about the English side, Kohli thinks that they are one of the most balanced sides in the world right now.

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Balanced England 

He said that they bat deep and have a fantastic bowling line-up. “I think England are a very, very balanced side. One of the two best-balanced sides in the world at the moment. They bat right down to 9 or 10, they are all explosive players, five or six guys can bat and bowl, and they are gun fielders as well,” Kohli explained.

The Poms managed to score over 300 runs in all the three games against India in India but despite that lost the series 2-1. Kohli is wary of the threat England possesses as he said that the hosts have improved a lot after the 2015 World Cup.

“We experienced that in India, they are pretty hard to get the past, and that’s something that is going to be a challenge for every other team in the Champions Trophy as well. We always related to England as a very strong Test team, but in last two or three years post [the 2015] World Cup, they’ve really changed the way they play their cricket,” he said.

“I don’t think they’ve scored anything less than 330 now, which moves the game on pretty rapidly. It is indeed a challenge for all sides that play against them. Credit to them for shaping their short-format cricket so well, and I’m sure they’ll be eager to go a long way in this tournament as well,” he added.

Virat also said that England are all about the attack as every batter looks to charge and as they bat deep one or the other clicks and they manage to post a huge total. “For the whole batting line-up to play like that is pretty rare. You always have two or three guys playing through the innings, but for them, it’s all about attack, throughout the 50 overs which is exciting for the fans and challenging for the opposition. You have to be on top of your game to get past a team like that,” he said.

As the questions from the press turned towards India, Virat said that the last time around they won the tournament was because India clicked in all the three departments and they would like to repeat that this time around. He also said that he is quite excited to lead India in his first major ICC event.

“I am very excited to be playing as captain in my first major ICC competition,” he said. “As far as the team goes, we won last time because our fast bowlers did very well, our spinners were strong and our opening batsman did well,” Kohli said.

“They were the main three factors. This year the team is a lot fitter, the cricketers are a lot more mature because that was a very young group four years ago. It has gained a lot of experience in the last three or four years. I love the tournament because it represents a challenge from the [word] go,” he continued.

England were terrorised by the attacks at the Manchester Arena this week and the Indian skipper was deeply saddened by the traggic incident. However, he is not nervous about the security as life there has gone back to normal.

When asked about how he feels about touring the countries like England, the 28-year-old said that he absolutely loves it. “I love walking by myself, not having people around at all. I love travelling away from home, and getting some normal time, which I’m not really able to do back home because there’s so much attention on you all the time.”

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