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‘Blast disturbing but it hasn’t taken our focus away from the job at hand’India skipper Virat Kohli addressing his first press conference after landing in England for the Champions Trophy. Reuters

‘Blast disturbing but it hasn’t taken our focus away from the job at hand’

26 May 2017 | 12:49 AM

LONDON:Virat Kohli arrived here heartbroken but the Manchester blast has failed to waver his focus from cricket, and he’s raring to perform in a tournament that’s of “paramount importance”.

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London, May 25 

Virat Kohli arrived here heartbroken but the Manchester blast has failed to waver his focus from cricket, and he’s raring to perform in a tournament that’s of “paramount importance”.

Defending champions India will begin their campaign in the Champions Trophy with a high-profile match against archrivals Pakistan on June 4 in Birmingham, which is less than 100 miles from the affected city. “Firstly, what happened here a few days back was really saddening and very disturbing for everyone. And especially a place like England, to say the least, has not had many of these incidents happen in the past.

“So, yes, I mean, for a few people it can be sort of nervous time. But I don’t think as a squad you have time to focus on those factors, because eventually you understand that you’re here for a sporting tournament,” Kohli said on arrival.

He said the players are not nervous despite the heightened security all around and relentless briefings. “...And that for us remains paramount in our thought patterns. And I personally don’t feel any nervousness as such. I saw life resume pretty normally. And that’s always a healthy sign.”

The Indian batting mainstay seemed satisfied with the security apparatus in place. “We have security briefings throughout the day. We have a lot more information in terms of specifics that we need to keep in mind. I see life resuming very normally. And obviously with the security information coming in as well, it will be very helpful for the players.”

Entering the ODI tournament after a long home Test season, followed by the IPL, Kohli stressed on the need to be fit physically as well as mentally. “I think the only challenge I feel is taking care of your body. Mentally, it’s up to individuals to base their game in a way that they can switch pretty quickly, because that is the need of the game in this day and age,” he said.

“I personally don’t like to choose formats and give preference to one over the other. I like to be involved in all three equally. Try to contribute as much as I can. And I’m sure all the guys on the team think in that manner as well. 

“I think it’s just a little mental adjustment. But it’s the physical care of your body that’s paramount to switch between formats because the body reacts very differently to different formats.” —  PTI 

Team better equipped this time 

I am very excited to be playing as captain in my first major ICC competition. 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. 

Want to do well in England

If you talk about the longer format of the game then I did not do well here three years ago. I want to succeed, although not to prove a point. It motivates me further to come back and do better. For me it is a game of cricket. From then to now, I have shown I am strong mentally. England brings a lot for challenges for a batsmen and I want to overcome them personally for my satisfaction at the end of my career.

No auto extension for Kumble, BCCI invites applications

26 May 2017 | 12:49 AM

NEW DELHI:The Indian cricket board (BCCI) today invited applications for the post of head coach, making it clear that Anil Kumble will not get an automatic extension after his term expires at the end of the Champions Trophy.

ICC cricket committee wants DRS in T20 as well

26 May 2017 | 12:49 AM

LONDON:The ICC Cricket Committee, chaired by India head coach Anil Kumble, made a host of recommendations at its annual meeting with the notable ones being the use of DRS for all T20Is and on-field umpires be given the power to send off players for misconduct.

Pogba takes grieving  Man U to Europa triumph

Pogba takes grieving Man U to Europa triumph

26 May 2017 | 12:49 AM

STOCKHOLM:Paul Pogba propelled Manchester United towards a 2-0 victory over Ajax in a Europa League final rendered heavy with emotion by this week’s terror attack in Manchester.

Morgan ton sets up England win

Morgan ton sets up England win

26 May 2017 | 12:49 AM

LEEDS:England captain Eoin Morgan’s fine century laid the platform for a 72-run win over South Africa in the Day/Night first ODI at Headingley.

We don’t mind underdog tag, says Mathews

26 May 2017 | 1:23 AM

LONDON:Sri Lanka will embrace the ‘underdog’ tag at the ICC Champions Trophy in England, according to skipper Angelo Mathews.

Briefly

Provide list of office-bearers: COA to state units

26 May 2017 | 12:49 AM

NEW DELHI: The Committee of Administrators (CoA) today sent a fresh communication to the various state units of BCCI asking them to furnish the names of the current office-bearers along with the duration of their stay.

Pogba sends grieving Man Utd to emotional Europa triumph

Pogba sends grieving Man Utd to emotional Europa triumph

25 May 2017 | 6:56 PM

STOCKHOLM: Paul Pogba propelled Manchester United towards a 2-0 victory over Ajax on Wednesday in a Europa League final rendered heavy with emotion by this week’s terror attack in Manchester.

Rooney left out of England squad again by Southgate

Rooney left out of England squad again by Southgate

25 May 2017 | 6:42 PM

LONDON: England's record international goalscorer Wayne Rooney has been left out of Gareth Southgate's squad for next month's World Cup Group F qualifier away to Scotland and a friendly with France.

No auto extension for head coach Kumble as BCCI invites applications

No auto extension for head coach Kumble as BCCI invites applications

25 May 2017 | 5:47 PM

NEW DELHI: The BCCI on Thursday invited applications for head coach’s post, sending a reminder to head coach Anil Kumble that he will not get an automatic extension after his current term expires at the end of Champions Trophy.

David Beckham on US Soccer Hall of Fame ballot

David Beckham on US Soccer Hall of Fame ballot

25 May 2017 | 11:45 AM

CHICAGO: David Beckham, the English midfielder who brought increased visibility to American soccer and won a pair of Major League Soccer titles while playing for the LA Galaxy from 2007-12, is among 12 first-time candidates on the 33-player ballot for the US National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Morgan ton sets up England win over South AfricaHeadingley ODI

Morgan ton sets up England win over South Africa

25 May 2017 | 10:46 AM

LEEDS: England captain Eoin Morgan’s fine century laid the platform for a 72-run win over South Africa in the day/night first one-day international at Headingley on Thursday.

Briefly

Sindhu elected as member of BWF Athletes’ commission

25 May 2017 | 1:41 AM

Rio Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu became one of the members of the BWF Athletes’ Commission after the end of voting for the four places on the representative body here today.

No Federer, Serena, no problem for Roland Garros

No Federer, Serena, no problem for Roland Garros

25 May 2017 | 1:41 AM

PARIS:Roland Garros organisers are confident that the absence of Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova from the 2017 French Open will just be a footnote when the story of the second major of the season is told.

Sudirman Cup : India qualify for knockout stage

25 May 2017 | 1:41 AM

GOLD COAST (AUSTRALIA):The Indian badminton team sealed a place in the knockout stage of the Sudirman Cup mixed team championship despite Indonesia pulling off a stunning 3-2 victory over Denmark here today.

It’s getting bigger and better for kabaddi players

It’s getting bigger and better for kabaddi players

25 May 2017 | 1:41 AM

NEW DELHI:Nitin Tomar still can't believe his luck.

Supreme verdict: Messi guilty of tax fraud, gets 21-month jail

Supreme verdict: Messi guilty of tax fraud, gets 21-month jail

25 May 2017 | 1:41 AM

MADRID:Spain’s Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected an appeal by Barcelona football star Lionel Messi and stood by a Catalan regional court’s 21-month prison sentence for tax fraud, court documents showed.

Skipper Smith wants to put distractions behind

25 May 2017 | 1:41 AM

LONDON:Australia skipper Steve Smith today admitted that the players have been distracted regarding the ongoing pay dispute with Cricket Australia but are now determined to put that behind with an aim to regain the Champions Trophy.

Kohli mantra: Be happy and carefreechampions trophy

Kohli mantra: Be happy and carefree

25 May 2017 | 1:41 AM

MUMBAI:India’s best chances of defending the Champions Trophy title next month lie in not burdening themselves with the prospect and staying calm and carefree, skipper Virat Kohli said on Wednesday.

Spain Supreme Court confirms Messi fraud sentence

Spain Supreme Court confirms Messi fraud sentence

24 May 2017 | 6:18 PM

MADRID: Spain’s Supreme Court on Wednesday confirmed a 21-month jail sentence and 2.09-million-euro (USD 2.25 million) fine imposed on Lionel Messi for tax fraud, months after the Barcelona football star lodged an appeal.

Nothing changes in our head when we face Pakistan: Kohli

Nothing changes in our head when we face Pakistan: Kohli

24 May 2017 | 8:29 PM

MUMBAI: India captain Virat Kohli on Wednesday played down the hype surrounding their upcoming marquee clash with arch-rivals Pakistan in the Champions Trophy.

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