Former Pakistan legendary batsman and a current International Cricket Council (ICC) President Zaheer Abbas has backed Pakistan to win the upcoming Asia Cup 2018. He feels Team India will miss the services of star batsman Virat Kohli. Adding, the Men in Green will be favourites to lift the coveted title of edition 14. The tournament is slated to be played from 15th September in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Former batting veteran Abbas stated that arch-rivals India and Pakistan will be battling for the title in the six-team competition.
On the other hand, Kohli has been rested by the team management. He played non-stop cricket in the last year or so hence his workload must be managed especially after the five-match Test series in England.
“The way Pakistan are playing these days I believe that they would be the favourites for the Asia Cup title. Then there would be India, and I think that the main battle for supremacy is going to be fought between these two teams,” the News International quoted Abbas.
“That [India vs Pakistan] is going to be the most important game of the tournament. Everybody likes to watch Pakistan-India games as they produce high-voltage action,” he added.
Zaheer Abbas said Virat Kohli is the biggest match winner for India:
“Kohli is India’s biggest match-winner, and his team is certainly going to miss him in the Asia Cup. That said, the Indians have some really good ODI players in their squad,” Abbas remarked.
Abbas feels that all eyes will be on the marquee clash between India and Pakistan which is slated to be played on 19th September.
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Pakistan defeated India by 180 runs when the two teams last met in the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy. Meanwhile, India thrashed them early in the tournament on June 4.
Also, Abbas reiterated Fakhar Zaman will be the player to watch out for. Abbas is excited with the young talent who recently scored an ODI double century. It was the southpaw’s century which took the game away from the Men in Blue in the final of the Champions Trophy last year on June 18 at The Oval in London.
“If you ask me to name one Pakistani player whom I believe has the capability to light up the Asia Cup then I would say, Fakhar Zaman. He is in great form, and if he gets going then it is going to be difficult for their opponents to stop Pakistan,” the 71-year-old said.
It would be interesting to see how India will perform without having Virat Kohli in the squad. However, Zaheer Abbas is hopeful to see Sarfraz Ahmed returning with the Asia Cup 2018 title.