Former Indian international Ajit Agarkar's latest statement might not only get the Indians fans annoyed but also the Rohit Sharma-led Indian Cricket Team ahead of the showpiece encounter of the 2018 Asia Cup against Pakistan on Wednesday (September 19).
Agarkar doesn't feel that India are favorites against Pakistan in the hugely anticipated Asia Cup encounter in Dubai, saying the national players will be a lot more tired after their first game against Hong Kong in the severe heat at the UAE.
He further added that Pakistan are working "a lot more better than India" at the moment and it gives a slight edge to Pakistan over India in the contest.
Agarkar told ESPNcricinfo, “For the first time, I don’t think India are clear favourites. Pakistan have a better form behind them. I am not sure if Pakistan are clear favourties here, but they might have a slight edge. Their playing elevens are working a lot more better than India at the moment, and that sometimes helps, plus India are playing back-to-back games which is not going to help in this heat either.”
“There is a case of Pakistan being a lot closer to India this time. In the Champions Trophy, India were clear favorites to win that”, opined former pacer.
India managed to beat Hong Kong by 26 runs in their Asia Cup opener on September 18 to warm-up perfectly for their high-pressure match against Pakistan, but Agarkar is not happy with their performance, saying their tiredness could be seen in Dubai.
Agarkar signed off by saying, “Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya will come back and make the eleven a lot stronger than it looked in that first game against Hong Kong. India didn’t play particularly well against Hong Kong or the opposition batted really well. The only problem is that India will be a lot more tired after their first game playing in that heat.”