The mission to bring back the prestigious title home has begun as the Men in Blue have taken the flight to United Kingdom (UK) on Wednesday (May 22). Virat Kohli-led team India will face South Africa in their opening game of the quadrennial event on June 5 in Southampton. Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who will be playing his third 50-overs World Cup tournament, feels that the upcoming edition is the most challenging event of his cricketing career.
The upcoming World Cup will be contested in a round-robin format, the same which was followed in the 1992 edition. On that occasion, the number of teams was nine with Zimbabwe being the only non-Test-playing nation. This time, however, all 10 teams are Test-playing while two more Test-playing nations – Zimbabwe and Ireland – missed out.
"Personally, I think this is probably the most challenging World Cup of all the three that I've been a part of, because of the format," said Virat Kohli in a conversation with the media reporters.
"Everyone has to be at their best intensity from the first match onward and we don't have any room for complacency. That's why it's the World Cup, that's why it's the most important tournament in the world. We expect that kind of pressure from the first second. We're not even going to let ourselves think that maybe the first week onward we'll get into it," he added.
Pressure is the most important thing
Kohli revealed that the conditions in the World Cup won’t be that difficult in comparison to the longest format of the game. He reckoned that the main battle will be against pressure and not with the conditions in England. The skipper mentioned that all his bowlers are coming off fresh from the IPL and are well-prepared to do well in the 50-overs format as well.
"White-ball cricket, playing in England, playing an ICC tournament - the conditions are not that different or that difficult I would say, compared to Test cricket. Pressure is the most important thing in the World Cup, and not necessarily the conditions," Virat explained.
"Secondly, all the bowlers in the squad, even during the IPL they were bowling themselves to be in the zone for 50-over cricket. And we saw the guys bowling. No one looked tired or fatigued after bowling four overs. They were fresh. The ultimate goal is to be fit for the 50-over format and not let their fitness come down and that was communicated before the IPL," the Indian skipper concluded.