Will Virat Kohli’s Absence Hurt India in the Asia Cup?
The last thing Asian Cricket Council, the organizers of upcoming Asia Cup 2018 would have wanted to hear was Indian skipper’s absence in the tournament. Official broadcasters Star Sports would have invariably had teaser ideas with the Indian skipper to build the perfect momentum for the tournament in Dubai. But the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) saw merit in resting their overworked skipper ahead of the important tour of Australia at the end of the year. The big question that comes to everyone’s mind is whether resting Kohli will affect India’s chances of winning the tournament.
Make no mistake India minus Kohli is still the favourites to win this tournament if the bookies are to be believed. Team India has odds of 1.83 against its name compared to 3.75 riding on Pakistan. Sri Lanka and Afghanistan have odds of 7.0 and 10.00 on them to win the tournament. In Virat’s absence Rohit Sharma will lead the side in the tournament. India is the reigning champions and with 6 titles to their name are also the most successful team in the tournament’s history.
With a strong unit the team would look to add another jewel to its Asia Cup crown.
Well Groomed Unit
India has been a dominant force in the 50 over game since the end of the last ICC World Cup in 2015. They have won 40 out of the 61 games they have played in this period and find themselves at No. 2 spot on the ICC Team Rankings. Most of these wins have come at the back of strong batting performances. While Kohli has been the best batsmen of the side scoring 13 hundreds in this period others have also been great with the bat. Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul make up for one of the best batting orders. With MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya in the finishing act the team would count on its chances to defeat any opposition.
While India’s bowling isn’t as strong as its batting unit Rohit Sharma does have many bowling options up his sleeves. In Bhuvneshwar Kumar the side has one of the best new ball bowlers, who uses the new ball to good effect. Jasprit Bumrah ranks among the best death bowlers in the world while Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal who have formed a great bowling pair in the middle are likely to offer stability to the bowling. What the team would definitely miss though is Kohli’s inspirational leadership. The team feeds of his energy levels and this is something Rohit Sharma would have tough time to match.
The Denial of Kohli-Amir Battle
Cricket fans across both sides of the border in India and Pakistan would miss out on the contest between Kohli the best batsman in the world and Asia best bowler Pakistani left arm speedster Mohammad Amir. With no bilateral contests between the sides for almost a decade India-Pakistan faceoff in multilateral contests is looked up to. The last time around the two sides met at the Champions Trophy 2017 it was even-steven with Kohli winning the battle in the league game while Amir getting the better of him in the finals. Surely this is a huge denial to the cricket fans and they would have to wait for ICC World Cup in 2019 to see the contest between these two stars. Don’t miss a match, check our schedule for the Asia Cup 2018.
It goes without saying that without Kohli the Indian team doesn’t look the same but in white ball cricket the team has the right mix to defeat any team. Apart from Pakistan none of the other sides match up against the strong Indian line-up in the tournament. While cricket betting fans would definitely miss Kohli in action his absence doesn’t dent the prospects of the team considering the opposition they are up against.