Will Virat Kohli's absence make a difference for other teams during the on-going Asia Cup 2018? The omission of a player like Kohli who turns the game single-handedly is definitely going to ease things for the opposition teams.
Mentally they will be a lot more relaxed in Kohli's absence, that's what the former Pakistan pacer Wasim Akram thinks.
Whenever the arch-rivals India and Pakistan clash in a tournament, the experts discuss every small point in pre-game talks. This time Kohli is a major topic of discussion.
Akram said the decision by Indian skipper Virat to take rest is a good decision. He further said that Kohli being rested will surely make the Pakistani bowlers more confident.
Talking about himself, during the show 'Salaam Cricket 2018' for India Today, the Pakistan legend said that he would be more confident as a bowler when batsmen like Sunil Gavaskar, Mohammad Azharuddin, and Sachin Tendulkar did not play for India.
"Kohli has been rested and that is the right decision. When Gavaskar, Azhar, and Tendulkar did not play, I was high on confidence. The Pakistan bowlers will be psychologically boosted with Kohli being rested," Akram said.
Akram picked India as favorites ahead of the game between the neighbors on September 19. "India favorites on paper," he said.
But the former India opening batsman Sunil Gavaskar gave Pakistan an edge over India considering they will be high in morale after defeating the men in blue in the Champions Trophy final last year.
"The last defeat creates a touch of uncertainty in your mind," Gavaskar said. However, Akram feels the players won't be thinking about what happened last year.
Gavaskar also commented on Virat's absence and said it will be key. "Virat's absence will be crucial."
"That is a call for the selectors. Maybe Virat himself suggested he himself be given a break from this. The tiredness is mental more than physical. Mentally, maybe with what happened in England, maybe the better idea is for Virat to take a break and take it easy," Gavaskar added.
"On a lighter note, maybe Virat thought it would be a good idea to take a break," Akram opined.
"He might have checked the weather of UAE and be like I should rest. do you think that makes a difference? These people have yo-yo tests nowadays so if they pass that I don't think the temperature makes a difference. Otherwise what's the point of this test," was Gavaskar's reply.