India are better even without Virat Kohli in Asia Cup 2018 – Sarfaraz

Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed feels India are favourites for the India-Pakistan encounter and the Asia Cup even without their talismanic captain, Virat Kohli. According to him, Kohli’s absence isn’t much of a blow to the two-time World champions.

India’s run machine is rested for the ongoing Asia Cup, having endured a sore back recently against England. He has also been given a breather because India have a tight schedule post-Asia Cup. In his place, Rohit Sharma has been tasked with the captaincy. 

The Blues take on Pakistan in the match of the tournament on 19 September. After his side’s comfortable yet authoritative victory against Hong Kong, Sarfraz Ahmed said, 'No doubt he (Kohli) is their captain and a world-class batsman but I think they (India) have a good team even without Kohli.”

'They have good players who have done well for India. So I don't think it will make much difference to India. Their batting is very strong so I can say that it will be a good match,' he further added.

When asked if the famous Champions Trophy final triumph would play an advantage to Pakistan psychologically, the wicket-keeper batsman said, 'We will not take that Champions Trophy win in our minds. That was a different atmosphere (in London) and conditions. It was a year ago so that's history so we will enter the ground with a new strategy and passion.'

Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly believes the same. He stated that the feisty encounter will be a battle of two equals. Much like Ahmed, Ganguly too feels that India can cope and perform well without Kohli. 'It will be a 50-50 contest between India and Pakistan,' he said in a promotional event. 

Rohit Sharma and co. will face the acid test against their fierce rivals tomorrow as they look to avenge their Champions Trophy final defeat.

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