Kolkata: Refusing to attach any importance to India cricket team captain Virat Kohli's run of poor scores in this Indian Premier League (IPL), New Zealand pacer Tim Southee on Saturday said the ace batsman cannot be kept out of runs for long and would step up in the upcoming ICC Champions trophy.

Kohli has scored 250 runs in nine IPL matches as his side endured a tough campaign with only two wins in 13 matches so far.

"He won't stay out of form for long. There is a reason why he is one of the best batsmen in the world. I am sure, he would do well and step up as the Indian captain as well," Southee said at an event in the city.

The Kiwi player, who is currently turning out for the Mumbai Indians in this year's IPL, was confident Kohli would be able to adjust to the playing conditions in England for the tournament.

"I am sure he would be working very hard to adjust to the conditions (in the Champions trophy). He knows there is a big tournament around the corner," he said.

Stating that there are no easy groups or easy games in the Champions Trophy, Southee claimed that all the eight teams participating in the tournament can beat each other on their day.

"I do not think any group is easy. There are no easy games. The beauty of Champions Trophy is that any side can beat anyone on their day. I guess that's what makes it so interesting and such a great tournament to be a part of," he added.

Southee's compatriot and fellow pacer Trent Boult claimed that it is difficult to choose a favourite in the Champions Trophy as it would be played between the top eight cricketing nations.

"It is very hard to term anyone a favourite in the whole tournament. Eight quality sides are involved. So we have to play the best cricket when we get over there," Boult said.



The Blackcaps pacer, plying his trade for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, claimed quality cricket played in the IPL would help the cricketers prepare for the upcoming 50 over ICC event.

"It is going to be a challenge to move from T20 cricket to a slightly longer format. But the guys that have been playing here exposed to some good cricket. I think the transition would be relatively easy," Boult added.


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