Virat Kohli dismisses rift with coach Anil Kumble ahead of Pakistan clash

Posted June 04, 2017

Defending champions India will be aiming to shut out off-field controversies when they lock horns with arch-rivals Pakistan in their ICC Champions Trophy opener - a marquee contest where tension and drama is never in short supply.

The two sides have not played a bilateral series since 2012-2013, and India have refused to consider the idea without an end to "cross border terrorism" - code for militant incursions along the disputed Kashmir border.

Birmingham has a proven track record of hosting major sporting events and is bidding to stage the 2022 Commonwealth Games having officially notified the United Kingdom government of its intention to do so earlier this year.

A sell-out crowd is expected at the Edgbaston ground in Birmingham - a city with one of the largest Asian populations in Britain - while the worldwide television audience for Sunday's match could run into the billions. Don't miss the ICC Champions Trophy clash at 10am on Sunday.

While Rohit Sharma will be playing his first global match after more than six months, Shikhar Dhawan will look to relive his performance during the 2013 edition, when he won the "Man of the Tournament" award.

Pakistan have fallen behind Bangladesh in terms of being in touch with modern limited-overs cricket as well as the rankings.

The pre-match presser in fact was more about the supposed turmoil in the Indian dressing room than Sunday's big game.

Visit Birmingham and Birmingham City Council have joined forces to promote the West Midlands to sporting visitors and a global television audience as part of the city's growth strategy to attract more worldwide tourists.

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

Reports of a falling out between Kohli and Kumble emerged after India's cricket board (BCCI) invited applications for the head coach's role last week, despite the team's excellent results since Kumble took over last June. They need to keep rotating the strike and go for a better total and mind you, there is no pressure.

While India have reached the semis thrice, finals twice and become champions once in 50-over World Cups held in the last two decades, their Pakistani counterparts have only a semi-final appearance in the 2011 edition to boast of. You've got to be able to take wickets. We always pick an attack to take wickets.

"We've got a left-arm spinner [Imad Wasim]". We could have a leg-spinner (Azhar Ali). "We've got to attack them and we've got to look to bowl them out".

"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". "We have seen before that if the Indian top-order collapses, then they struggle".