Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly, on Friday, said India are capable enough to win the upcoming Asia Cup even in the absence of their talismanic skipper Virat Kohli.

India will have their task cut when they start their Asia Cup-defence in United Arabia Emirates in the absence of their skipper and batting mainstay Virat Kohli.  At the previous tournament in 2016 in Bangladesh, which was a T20I format, Kohli was India’s leading run-scorer with 153 runs in their title-winning campaign.

Even during the recently concluded tour of England, Kohli was the best Indian batsman by far. In the last two ODI series for India (South Africa and England), Kohli was India’s top run-scorer. Not surprisingly, the team will miss him in the continental championship.

However, Sourav Ganguly said the Men in Blue will do well despite the absence of their skipper.

“India are a good side. They will do well in the Asia Cup,” Ganguly told reporters at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

“India could not do that well in England but in limited overs they are a top side,” Ganguly added.

With Virat Kohli, the team is much stronger: Sourav Ganguly (Credits: Getty)

In Kohli’s absence, Rohit Sharma will lead the side who has an impeccable record as India skipper. The right-hander led the team to wins in ODI and T20I series against Sri Lanka at home last year before guiding the team to win in the Nidahas Trophy.

Asked about Rohit’s captaincy, Ganguly said: “He has a very good record as captain so I expect him to do well too.”

Ganguly further said that the team is always stronger with Kohli but are still capable of winning the competition.

“With Virat the team is much stronger. Still without him also, this team is capable of winning the series,” he concluded.

Kohli has been rested for the Asia Cup after a gruelling tour of United Kingdom where India played 5 T20Is, three ODIs and 5 Tests.

Rohit Sharma with other captains before the Asia Cup (Credits: AFP)

India, meanwhile, will open their campaign on September 18 against Hong Kong. On the very next day, they will take on arch-rivals Pakistan.