ISLAMABAD: Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja admitted that Asia Cup 2018 tournament would have prospered more if the game’s biggest superstar had graced the stage.
He said no one can blame the Indian board for wrapping their biggest asset up in cotton wool. “I don’t think Kohli’s absence has taken the shine off the tournament entirely, but obviously he has got a massive fan following.
His presence, of course, would have helped the Asia Cup blossom that much more. But, you know, it’s BCCI’s internal matter,” Ramiz told Khaleej Times during an interview.
He said that Wednesday’s India-Pakistan encounter in Dubai would have been even more fascinating if Kohli was in the Indian team. “You know one part of my heart says that Kohli should have been here because Pakistan-India contests are always a great one.
So India probably needed their captain taking the contest away from Pakistan after what happened at the Champions Trophy,” Ramiz said, referring to India’s stunning defeat to Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final last year.
“He said Kohli is raising the status of Test cricket which is great because Test cricket is struggling and so the superstar of the game feels that he needs to be fresh when India travel to Australia for the Test series later this year.”
To a question, he said that “All the past records, all your past performances come to zilch when India and Pakistan meet because it’s the performance on the day that matters.
It’s about how the players take the pressure and the weather conditions.
You need to be mentally very strong,” he said. Ramiz refused to rule out the chances of the other teams in the tournament.
“I think Bangladesh played brilliantly in the first match. They have been playing really well in limited overs cricket. Then you have Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. There is pressure because any team on these pitches can surprise you,” he added.