India captain Virat Kohli has made it very clear that his team will not make the mistake of underestimating South Africa in their opening game of the World Cup. The Proteas have lost botheir games so far and will also be without Dale Steyn (for the whole tournament) and Lungi Ngidi (for India match).
Virat also declared that batting all-rounder Kedar Jadhav is fit for playing tomorrow.
"Injuries are part of the game. These things can't be predicted. I'm sure any team that gets hit with injuries is never a good thing. Still, South Africa are talented and very dangerous side on their day. Even with replacements, they would be a very strong side," Kohli said in a pre-match press conference.
"We never take anyone lightly and whether a few key players get injured or not. If a youngster is stepping in and has the right mindset, then he can really perform on the day. We need to maintain respect for that and approach the game focusing on our strengths and what we can do as a side," kohli added.
India are the only team which has not played a single game so far and according to Virat, that is an advantageous position to be in.
"It's an advantage, understanding how the games have gone, what the conditions have to offer, what the overcast conditions bring into play, when the sun's out it's a totally different ball game altogether. What's the pace of play when you see other teams playing. What the approach is. From that point of view, we have a lot to absorb and learn from."
Virat added results depend on how the team turns out on the day. What kind of mental set-up it has.
"We have to be mentally and skillfully stronger than the opposition whoever we play on the day. Our focus will be there. We have selected a side that gives us all kind of options. Depending on the conditions we are going to play. Somewhere you might see three seamers playing, somewhere two wrist-spinners, one wrist-spinner and one finger spinner playing together. Looking at the pitch now we'll have discussions over what the balanced combination would be. We are equipped to handle all kind of conditions here."
The skipper of the Indian team said dealing with people's expectations have become a part of his process now.
"Look when you perform for a long time, expectations will always be there. I sort of understand how to go along with the expectations. You don't go out there to prove anything to anyone, that's a fact but dealing with the expectations is a part of my process now," Kohli opined.