Former skipper Sourav Ganguly believes India will be a bit weaker without the services of their full-time skipper Virat Kohli. India’s talisman was rested for the Asia Cup and thus Rohit Sharma is holding the captaincy reins in the ongoing Asia Cup. However, the Prince of Kolkata believes it is going to be an even contest between India and Pakistan at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
India has had its wood on Pakistan in the recent past. However, the Men in Green will be playing in conditions which are more suited to them. Pakistan plays most of its cricket in the UAE. Thus, they are going to hold an advantage baton.
It is going to be an even contest.
“Kohli is a player who provides a lot of strength to the team. India is a bit weaker in his absence but in the conditions in which the Asia Cup is being played – Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya – all can be matchwinners. It will be a clash between equals. No one team can be said to be ahead. In the last decade or so you could have said that India had the edge over Pakistan but this time in Abu Dhabi where Pakistan plays a lot of cricket, it will be an even contest,” Sourav Ganguly said while talking to IndiaTV.
Meanwhile, former Pakistan batsman Ramiz Raja believes Pakistan is not ahead by any means. The pitch is not going to conducive for the fast bowlers and Pakistan don’t possess a quality spin battery.
“I don’t think that Pakistan is ahead by any means as the performance against Hong Kong was sort of a middling one as the fast bowlers failed to swing the ball appreciably. Also, Pakistan doesn’t have a good pool of spin bowlers unlike the other teams in the tournament. (Lasith) Malinga, on the other hand, swung the ball in Dubai in similar conditions. If Pakistan bowlers don’t take wickets with the new ball, their bowling will be under a lot of pressure.”
In fact, Ramiz Raja believes the lack of preparation is not going to hurt India. Men in Blue were on the long tour of England and they deserve a break.
“I don’t think that the lack of preparation in UAE is going to hurt India. They just completed a long tour of England and thus deserved a break. The players who are playing so much cricket these days shouldn’t be troubled by this.”
It is going to be an enthralling contest between India and Pakistan. India had a tough time against Hong Kong whereas Pakistan would be fresh after their comfortable win against the Associate nation.