India can handle the pressure - Kohli


Virat Kohli feels India's World Cup triumph in 2011 proved they are capable of coping with the expectations of winning the World Twenty20 on home soil.

India are favourites to be crowned World T20 champions for a second time ahead of their first game of the tournament against New Zealand in Nagpur on Tuesday.

In-form batsman Kohli knows the hosts will be under pressure to claim the title and is optimistic they can deliver for their expectant fans.

"The whole feel and the vibe is different from a bilateral series. We all have experienced that before, so it's nothing new," he said.

"I think the key is to learn from the past, where calmness is required in big tournaments like the ICC events. Because you can get carried away, over-anxious or over-excited - those feelings are not great for any side going into big tournaments.

"The learnings that we have from playing in these big events in the past is just to stay as calm as possible and focus on skills that need to be executed on the field.

"It obviously helps knowing that we were able to come through in a longer format of the game, so your skill levels, your concentration levels, everything is tested for much more than in a Twenty20 game.

"We got over that hurdle in the 50-over format, which was a major hurdle.

"Obviously I didn't feel it [the pressure] so much, because I was a youngster finding my feet and trying to contribute for the team as much as I can, but I saw the senior players - the way people expected things out of them and everywhere they would get advice and suggestions, expectations and prayers.

"So I think you have to soak all of that in. It's very difficult to ignore each and every thing that's been said to you, or people that actually genuinely come up to you and say 'we really want you to win the World Cup'.

"At home we expect that, at home we're sort of prepared for that. All these major events, the skill required is how you manage yourself off the field, because on the field is probably the safest and quietest place for you, especially playing in your home country. The field is actually your getaway. It's the place where you face the least pressure in tournaments like this."