Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed played down the hype around Virat Kohli’s absence from the Indian team in the crunch game on Wednesday.
Sarfraz Ahmed while talking to the presser in Dubai said that the opposition has some good players who can fill in for Virat and his absence will not cost them much.
“As far as my opinion is concerned, Kohli’s absence will not make any difference to their performance,” said Sarfraz on the eve of the Group A match in Dubai.
It is important to mention here that India gave rest to Kohli for the Asia Cup to cure his aching back after a long tour of the UK which finished last week.
On the other hand, Sarfraz coined Rohit’s captaincy as a different challenge for them.
“I don’t know what is Rohit’s thinking as captain. Although he is a world class player but captaincy is something different,” he said.
Sarfraz also played down the impression that Pakistan will have the psychological advantage of their win over India in the final of the Champions Trophy last year.
“It was CT final in England, so the time has gone and it is past now. This is a new game and we want to carry the winning momentum against them,”
He also refused to accept that Pakistan has the home advantage, having been playing in UAE since 2009.
“I know we are playing in the UAE since long but it will be too early to predict the results. I think all the contests will be thrilling enough for the cricketing fans around the World,” Sarfraz said.
Without revealing much, Sarfraz said he and coach Mickey Arthur are on the same page about the combination against India.
“We are very clear in the mind about the combination of the team against India,” said Sarfraz, who is expected to play the same team that beat Hong Kong by eight wickets in the first game.
Sarfraz said that the passion and wishes of the fame encourage the players on both sides.
“The passion and emotions are on both the sides. When we play against India so everyone wants us to win,” he stated.
To a query about pressure against India in a much-awaited contest of the event, he said that “As far as pressure is concerned so I have told my players to play with the positive mindset and to give up till the last moment.”
When asked would it be a big motivation if Imran Khan comes to the match in Dubai, Sarfraz replied that if Imran Khan will make his presence out there then it would be worth to the boys.
“He has a big fan following both in India and Pakistan so it will be a great motivation for all of us if he comes tomorrow (Wednesday),” the wicket-keeper batsman said.
Sarfraz admitted spearhead Mohammad Amir not taking wickets is a concern for the team.
“Yes, its a concern but it is not necessary that you always need to take wickets to prove that you have bowled well,” said Sarfraz about Amir who has just three wickets in eight games since his triple strike in the Oval final.
Sarfraz is confident that opener Fakhar Zaman will take responsibility in the Asia Cup.
“Fakhar is improving day by day. He gives a good platform to us in T20s and ODIs so we hope that he gives us good start here as well.” the skipper said.