Despite Virat Kohli’s absence in the Asia Cup 2018, Ambati Rayudu believes India have enough quality to win the six-nation tournament.
It is worth mentioning here that Rohit Sharma will lead India in the 14th edition of Asia Cup. Considering the hectic England tour, the BCCI had decided to rest Virat for the high-octane tournament.
Kohli was one of the very few Indian players who played all the matches on England tour. Moreover, the 29-year-old has been struggling with injuries lately. Before the England series, he had missed his maiden county stint for Surrey due to a neck sprain. During the second Test at Lord’s, the India captain suffered a lower-back strain as well.
“Obviously he (Virat) is a big miss and loss to the team. However, we still have enough quality in the team to go out and win,” Rayudu told reporters.
Rayudu is part of the national side for the first time since June 2016. Following the stellar IPL 2018 campaign (602 runs in 16 matches) for Chennai Super Kings, Ambati was initially recalled to India’s ODI squad for England tour. But was left out after failing to pass the Yo-Yo fitness test.
“It was frustrating to miss out on the England tour but I am happy that I could make a comeback to the Indian team. To be very honest, I have not really thought about it (competition) in that way. It’s just an opportunity to go out and play my best game,” Rayudu asserted.
India begins their Asia Cup 2018 campaign against Hong Kong on September 18, a day before their much-anticipated clash with arch-rivals Pakistan, on September 19.
Talking about the stern test against Pakistani bowlers, Rayudu said, “The preparation for that game is going on and now we have a new coach to prepare for the left-armers. Hopefully, we will be prepared for them.”
(With Inputs from Sport 360)