Former Pakistani all-rounder Yasir Arafat believes that the Indian cricket team will be weaker in the absence of their in-form skipper Virat Kohli in the upcoming 2018 Asia Cup but they still have some excellent match winners.
The 2018 Asia Cup will be played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from September 15 to 28. In this tournament, India and Pakistan are in the Group A along with the qualifier champions Hong Kong. The arch-rivals India and Pakistan will face each other on September 19.
While the Indian skipper Virat Kohli has been rested from this tournament, Arafat believes it will be much helpful for Pakistan cricket team, but he further added that Indian cricket team still has some excellent match winners.
Arafat said, “So, with his absence from the squad, Pakistan will be breathing a sigh of relief that a player who absorbs most of the pressure for his team is not included in the line-up. But there is no doubt that India has some excellent players who are match-winners in their own right.”
“The conditions in the UAE will suit India as well and they have some very able spinners in their squad. Most of their players are also very experienced but all said and done, it would be fair to say that the Indian side will be weaker without the presence of Virat Kohli.”
In their last encounter, which was the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy final at The Oval (London), Pakistan beat India by 180 runs and won that trophy for the first time. Arafat has admitted that Pakistan will have the psychological advantage when they will meet on September 19.
Arafat said, “As for Pakistan, the 19th September encounter between the two rivals will definitely be a pressure-filled affair. Of course, Pakistan will be looking to put to good use the psychological advantage they gained by emphatically defeating India in the Champions Trophy final. All in all, this will be a fantastic game for a full house to watch and something memorable for the players as well.”