Ahead of the blockbuster clash against Pakistan in Asia Cup 2022 on Sunday, Head Coach of Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) and former cricketer Laxmi Ratan Shukla on Saturday said that to win this T20I tournament, Virat Kohli needs to perform well. India will start its Asia Cup 2022 title defence against arch-rivals Pakistan on Sunday.
“According to me, the Indian team is the best. I don’t think the toss will play a major factor because the wicket will be fresh now, but winning the toss will play a major role in maintaining the positivity,” Laxmi Ratan Shukla told ANI.
Talking about the pitch, Shukla said that the figure of 200 can be crossed on this pitch.
“There has not been an international match in Dubai for the last few months, so the result of this wicket will be fresh. Not much can be seen for bowlers but can be good for batting on this pitch. 300 runs are common in 50 overs, even in today’s T20I, 300 runs can be a score in the 20 overs. The match between India and Pakistan can go up to 180, 190 or 220, 230. If Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma play big knocks, then the figure above two hundred and fifty can be crossed,” he added.
When India will take to the field to play arch-rivals Pakistan in Dubai on Sunday to start their Asia Cup 2022 campaign, star batter Virat Kohli will represent the nation in his 100th T20I match and will also become the first player in history to play a hundred matches for India in all formats of the game.
So far, Virat has represented Team India in 99 T20I games across which he has scored 3,308 runs at an average of 50.12. His best individual score for India in this format is 94 and he has scored 30 half-centuries in this format.
“We will win Asia Cup if everyone will play together and win this tournament. Virat Kohli is the X-factor in this tournament. To win the tournament it is very important for Virat Kohli to play,” he said.
“If we were talking about Pakistan, they have a balanced side, Babar is playing well, Shaheen Afridi is not, it is a minus point for Pakistan, but the batting order of Pakistan is not very deep, it is only four-five players on them the way. See India’s 8-9 number can bat well compared to Pakistan. And this will play as a huge advantage for India,” he added.
Talking about the dressing room environment ahead of the clash against the arch-rival, he said, “If you talk about dressing room in India versus Pakistan match there was an atmosphere of laughter in the dressing room, I get to see a different view on the field, but the view outside the field was also very exciting. The atmosphere in the dressing room also plays a big part in winning the game.”
Asia Cup is being held in T20I format from August 27 to September 11.
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