Sports Monks

Asia Cup 2018: Hasan Ali calls Virat Kohli a legend, feels his absence will be a massive advantage to Pakistan

India recently announced their squad for the 2018 Asia Cup and a notable absentee is skipper Virat Kohli, who has been rested. His absence is sure to affect India’s chances in the tournament and Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali has echoed the same sentiments, stating that his side will have a massive advantage when India and Pakistan lock horns on the 19th of September.

'Kohli is a very good player. We all know he is match winner,' Hasan said. 'Though India are still a good side, his absence is going to be an advantage for us. He can drive his team out of pressure anytime and any newcomer won't be good enough to handle the pressure. I am definitely going to miss bowling at him. It's natural that every young bower would like to have his wicket.

'But it's okay if he is not coming … I will look for him the next time. I wasn't targeting Kohli only. We are not going to play only against India as there are other teams [in the tournament] as well. Our main focus is the entire tournament rather than winning one game and losing others. We have do well to beat every team and try to win the tournament,' he went on to add.

Hasan also dismissed comparisons between Kohli and himself after it emerged that the two produced matching results in the Yo-Yo test conducted by their respective cricket boards.

“People might be comparing my fitness results with Kohli, but he is fitter anyway. He is a world class player, he is our senior and a legend,” the 24-year-old explained.

Hasan has fast established himself as one of the leading pace bowlers in the world, having picked up 68 wickets in 33 ODIs. Currently ranked third in the ICC rankings for ODI bowlers, the onus will be on him to lead his side to an unprecedented Asia Cup triumph. Pakistan begin their campaign against Hong Kong following which they square off against archrivals India.

The last time the two sides met, Pakistan came out on top with a crushing victory in the 2017 Champions Trophy final.

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