Pakistan crushed defending champions India by 180 runs at The Oval to win the Champions Trophy for the first time on Sunday.
After Fakhar Zaman's flamboyant hundred helped Pakistan to 338-4, India slumped to 158 all out in 30.3 overs and would have been beaten by an even greater margin if not for Hardik Pandya's 43-ball 76 from number seven. "We'd like our bowlers to exploit it", Kohli said, but his inform seamers were up against Pakistan's openers, Zaman and Ali, determined to hand their side a solid platform.
"They also came to express their skill and win a cricket game and they certainly did", Kohli told a news conference.
This was the first Champions Trophy title for Pakistan.
"Disappointing for us as a team to lose the final but I have a smile on my face because I'm very proud of how we played in this tournament".
In his column for the International Cricket Council (ICC) website, the swashbuckling all-rounder cautioned other cricketing nations to not take the Green Brigade lightly as on their day they have the potential to outshine any good side. "But these youngsters are remarkable and highly committed", he added.
"Its bowling attack was brilliant with Mohammad Amir and Junaid Khan contributing well throughout the tournament but the emergence of a couple of newer players in Hasan Ali and Fakhar Zaman, who scored a brilliant century in the final, is exciting for the future for Pakistan". For Indian fans, the game ended in disaster: Pakistan put on display a top-notch performance, winning by 180 runs.
"Afridi said that the teams that might have taken Pakistan lightly in Champions Trophy would never dare to repeat such a mistake again and whatever the lead-up to the 2019 World Cup may be like, Pakistan will be a serious contender for the trophy", he said.
"A lot of people had vibes that we might not be able to defeat India, that their batting is too strong for us to handle".