Former Team India batsman VVS Laxman is of the opinion that the ongoing Asia Cup 2018 won’t be a straightforward campaign. He believes it will be a test for the Men in Blue without the presence of regular skipper Virat Kohli. Kohli is a sensational in his business and undoubtedly the greatest limited-overs batsman of the modern generation. India will take again on Pakistan in two day’s time.

The way Kohli converts his starts into big knocks is simply stunning. He has already smashed nearly 10,000 ODI runs and has already smashed 35 One-day International (ODI) centuries in the process.

Veteran Laxman stated India was a bit rusty against Hong Kong. But they came back pretty strongly in the next match against arch-rivals Pakistan.

“ After a tough Test series in England, it was imperative for India to move on as a new format beckoned. While the Asia Cup is a massively important tournament, it is but a step towards preparing for next summer’s World Cup. Without Virat, this competition will be a test of the mettle of the other players. And from what we have seen so far, they are up to the test,” ToI quoted Laxman.

India vs Pakistan, VVS Laxman
Bhuvneshwar Kumar nagged two crucial wickets against Pakistan early on and got the praise from VVS Laxman. Getty Images

VVS Laxman on Hong Kong’s resistance:

The Men in Blue was in for a scare against lowly Hong Kong. After scoring 285, they were in for a shock as openers Nizakat Khan and Anshuman Rath shared a sensational opening stand of 174 runs. In addition, it eventually took Hong Kong within touching distance of the target.

However, after India went on to secure a 26-run at Dubai International Stadium. After the first wicket, they ran through Hong Kong to pull things back.

“With a little more experience and poise in the middle-order, Hong Kong could have pulled off one of the greatest upsets in cricket. But once India broke through, there was no stopping them,” Laxman remarked.

Also, Laxman heaped praise on the Indian bowlers who made a stunning comeback especially after surviving a scare against Hong Kong. Additionally, they were upto the mark in the match against Pakistan and skittled them out for a paltry score of just 162 runs. But it was indeed a great effort by the bowlers. It remains to be seen how the team approaches the first Super four game against Bangladesh.

India, Bangladesh, VVS Laxman
Asia Cup 2018: Indian crush Pakistan by eight wickets. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“The areas that needed immediate addressing after the Hong Kong scare were striking with the new ball, and showing greater awareness and intent in the middle-order. Remarkably, in less than 24 hours, India was in top form in both aspects,” Laxman asserted.

VVS Laxman lauds pace spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar for his brilliant show against Pakistan on September 19.

“Bhuvneshwar Kumar, coming off a back injury and a long layoff, shrugged off the inconsistency against Hong Kong with a wonderful new ball burst against Pakistan. Bhuvi at his best is a consistent wicket-taker up front. And, by evicting the in-form Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq in his first spell, he exposed the middle order which the spinners feasted on,” Laxman added.

India meets Bangladesh and it is expected to be a day for the Men in Blue. After their dominating performance against Pakistan, chances of India coming out triumphant against Bangladesh looks pretty strong. Moreover, In the ongoing Asia Cup 2018, India has delivered goods under the interim leader Rohit Sharma.

India and Pakistan wrestle it out on Sunday (September 23) at Dubai International Stadium.