Karachi, Sep 7: Hasan Ali, the Pakistan bowler, believed Virat Kohli’s absence from the Asia Cup would work in his team’s favour, but remained cautious of the rest of the Indian squad.
Pakistan will take on India on September 19 in the Asia Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
It will be the first time the teams are facing each other since Pakistan got the better of their neighbours and arch rivals in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 in England.
Ali took 3/19 from 6.3 overs in the final and was named Player of the Tournament, an ICC report on Friday said.
Speaking to mediapersons on Thursday on the sidelines of a national camp, he said the pressure would be on India given their Champions Trophy defeat and the absence of their regular captain, who has been rested.“Virat Kohli is a very good player. Everybody knows that he is a match-winner. But even if he isn’t there in the squad, India still have a very good team. They have many more players,” he said.
“Yes, there is an advantage for us that the way Virat Kohli can handle pressure, someone else who comes in his place might not be able to, Hasan said.“We are on top right now. India are under pressure from the previous defeat," he said.“In UAE, these are our conditions, we have the home advantage as we have been playing here for long, and are aware of how to use the conditions,” Hasan said.
As for himself, Ali, who has 68 wickets from 33 one-day internationals and is ranked No 3 on the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Rankings for Bowlers, felt he would thrive under pressure. “I wish to take all 10 wickets rather than a five-for,” he said.
“There is definitely pressure but I feel good when pressure mounts on me because that is when I try to perform," Hasan said. The 24-year-old pacer is one of the fittest in the Pakistan side, leading to further comparisons with the likes of Kohli, but he brushed it off.
“As a youngster, you want to keep yourself fit and look after yourself. I have played all three formats and playing all three formats is a burden on the body. You need to increase the level of your fitness which is why I have focused on it," he said. “There is no need for comparison with Virat Kohli. He is my senior. He is a legend. I focus on my fitness because that brings me consistency," Hasan added. (UNI)