Kohli's social media detox for Trophy final

India captain has kept his Instagram followers at bay in a bid to remain composed for the Champions Trophy decider

He commands more than 35 million fans on Facebook, 16 million followers on Twitter, 14 million on Instagram and is arguably cricket's most recognisable superstar.

But on the eve of the Champions Trophy against bitter rivals Pakistan, India skipper Virat Kohli admitted he is steering well clear of social media ahead of the hotly-anticipated clash.

The level of public interest for India-Pakistan showdowns is enormous given the rarity of matches between the two nations, and Kohli believes avoiding the relentless scrutiny is the best approach.

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"The biggest thing is to stay off social media," Kohli said at the Oval on Saturday.

"If you're too distracted listening to too many suggestions or players or criticism, then you can't focus on what you need to think as a sportsman first to be able to lead the team and then help the others in the team as well.

"The more relaxed you stay in these situations it's a good thing, because it helps you take better decisions when you are composed and calm mentally."

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Kohli has urged his team to forget the 124-run drubbing they inflicted on Pakistan in the group stage of the tournament.

That overwhelming triumph may be regarded as giving Kohli's team a psychological advantage but he insisted that it meant nothing.

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"I don't see any relevance of the first game here because you can never tell how a particular team starts a tournament," Kohli said.

"Some teams start very confidently and then they fade off. Some teams might not have the best starts, and they come back amazingly, which Pakistan has done.

"So everyone is aware of the kind of talent they have in their team, and on their day they can beat any side in the world.

"At the same time, neither are we too intimidated nor are we too arrogant about what we are doing."

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The experienced Kohli stressed the high degree of pressure for matches like this is part-and-parcel of playing for cricket's most populous country.

"It's been quite a few years I've been dealing with that, so nothing new," he said.

"You can't think of those things when you step onto the field. I know there are people that expect the team and myself to do well every time that we play, but I understand as a player and as a person that it's not possible.

"This is a part of being an Indian cricketer.

"You have to maintain a balance and then focus on what you need to do on the field."

India have won their last two ODI matches against Pakistan.

Champions Trophy 2017 Guide

Squads: Every Champions Trophy nation


1 JuneEngland beat Bangladesh by eight wickets

2 JuneNew Zealand v Australia, No Result

3 JuneSri Lanka lost to South Africa by 96 runs

4 June – India beat Pakistan by 124 runs

5 JuneAustralia v Bangladesh, No Result

6 JuneEngland beat New Zealand by 87 runs

7 JunePakistan beat South Africa by 19 runs (DLS method)

8 JuneSri Lanka beat India by seven wickets

9 JuneBangladesh beat New Zealand by five wickets

10 JuneEngland beat Australia by 40 runs (DLS method)

11 JuneIndia beat South Africa by eight wickets

12 JunePakistan beat Sri Lanka by three wickets

14 JuneFirst semi-final: England lost to Pakistan by eight wkts

15 JuneSecond semi-final: Bangladesh lost to India by nine wickets

18 JuneFinal: Pakistan v India, The Oval (D)

19 June – Reserve day (D)

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