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Kohli's absence could prove the difference: Sarfraz

Updated September 18, 2018


Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed believes India could feel the absence of their talismanic captain Virat Kohli in tomorrow's blockbuster match, even if the side has other good options.

Arch-rivals India and Pakistan are set to clash in their crucial Group A match at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.

While Sarfraz can rely on a full-strength side, India will have to make do without their superstar batsman and regular captain Kohli, who was rested for the tournament.

"A part from Kohli, the Indian team has other good players too," Sarfraz said. "[But], Kohli is a big player, and [his absence] could make a difference for India."

The Men in Green's captain, however, expects that the Rohit Sharm-led India must have made their adjustments to counter for Kohli's absence.

"The Indian team must have done their home work," Sarfraz said. "Good teams always take the field prepared."

The margin of error in brief tournaments such as Asia Cup are limited. Keeping that in mind, Sarfraz has told his team to "play every match as it's against India".

He expressed satisfaction at his team's form heading into the big game and made a special mention of opener Fakhar Zaman, who had hammered a swashbuckling ton when the sides had last met, in the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy.

"Fakhar Zaman is improving his performances each and every day," Sarfraz said.