LAHORE: Pakistan batsman Shoaib Malik bats during a nets session at the Gaddafi Stadium on Thursday, as a part of the training camp for the upcoming Asia Cup.—M. Arif/ White Star
LAHORE: Pakistan batsman Shoaib Malik bats during a nets session at the Gaddafi Stadium on Thursday, as a part of the training camp for the upcoming Asia Cup.—M. Arif/ White Star

LAHORE: Fast-rising fast bowler Hasan Ali thinks India will be under pressure during the forthcoming Asia Cup match against Pakistan, underlining the fact that latter badly lost last time when the arch-rivals clashed in the ICC Champions Trophy final.

Talking to Dawn on Thursday after attending the national training camp here at the Gaddafi Stadium for the forthcoming Asia Cup, Hasan noted that as the UAE was also the second home for Pakistan cricketers and the fact that they had beaten India in the Champions Trophy final, India would be under extra pressure.

Pakistan and India clash in the Asia Cup on Sept 19 at Dubai.

Hasan, 24, said though Virat Kohli who was a match-winner would not be playing in the Asia Cup, the Indian team remained strong because they had many world-class players.

However, he admitted that India would be missing a key player like Kohli, who had the ability to steer his team out of any pressure situation.

While clearing that he was not targeting any particular Indian batsman, the right-arm paceman said, “Personally, I will miss Kohli [in Asia Cup] because I wanted to take his wicket [there] but hopefully in the next opportunity I will get him out.”

Hasan has claimed 68 ODI wickets in 33 games at a highly impressive average of 20.88.

While highlighting that the team were focusing on all matches of the Asia Cup and not just the India game, Hasan pledged that Pakistan would face India in the Sept 19 encounter with the same traditional zeal and fervour as it would also be held during September when the entire nation also celebrated the Defence Day.

To a question, Hasan negated the impression that he was reluctant to play Test cricket.

“I love to play five-day cricket and I have never given such a statement that I don’t want to play Test matches,” Hasan, who has only competed in four Tests so far, said. “Like any another young cricketer, I am more cautious about keeping myself himself fit because I have to play in all three formats.”

He said though every bowler wants to get five or four wickets in a match, he wanted to take the prize and crucial wickets which could turn the match to Pakistan’s way.

To a question, Hasan said he had not set any Indian batsman as his top prey.

Published in Dawn, September 7th, 2018

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