Former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram stated the absence of Team India captain Virat Kohli means Pakistan will be a more confident side in the ongoing Asia Cup 2018. However, he stated it is the right decision taken by the Indian team management. Akram said that the absence of Kohli would give Pakistan a psychological advantage in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“Kohli has been rested, and that is the right decision. When Gavaskar, Azhar and Tendulkar did not play, I was high on confidence. The Pakistan bowlers will be psychologically boosted with Kohli being rested,” Akram said at the first session, named ‘Diggajon Ki Nazar Se’ at the Salaam Cricket 2018 held at the Hotel Address Boulevard in Dubai on Monday.
Wasim Akram said India were favourites on paper:
Akram felt that on paper India were the favourites for the India-Pakistan game.
“India favourites on paper,” he said.
However former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar stated that it will be Pakistan who will go into the match as favourites. He said that Pakistan’s morale will be high after defeating India in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.
Sunil Gavaskar said Pakistan will have the psychological advantage. (Credits – Getty Images)
“The last defeat creates a touch of uncertainty in your mind,” Gavaskar said at Saalam Cricket 2018.
However, Akram felt that there wouldn’t be any psychological advantage to Pakistan and no team will be thinking of the Champions Trophy. Gavaskar was of the opinion that the absence of Kohli will give an edge to the Men in Green.
“Virat’s absence will be crucial. That is a call for the selectors. Maybe Virat himself suggested he himself be given a break from this. The tiredness is mental more than physical. Mentally, maybe with what happened in England, maybe the better idea is for Virat to take a break and take it easy,” Gavaskar added.
“On a lighter note, maybe Virat thought it would be a good idea to take a break,” Akram jokingly said.
“He might have checked the weather of UAE and be like I should rest. do you think that makes a difference? These people have yo-yo tests nowadays so if they pass that I don’t think the temperature makes a difference. Otherwise what’s the point of this test,” said Gavaskar responding fast.