Hasan Ali sees advantage for Pakistan in Virat Kohli’s absence

07 Sep, 2018 10:22 am
LAHORE (92 News) – Hasan Ali reacts after being named as ICC Emerging Cricketer of the Year
The Pakistan paceman says he is honoured to be recognised by the ICC.

Speaking to presspersons on Thursday, 6 September on the sidelines of a national camp, he said the pressure would be on India given their Champions Trophy defeat and the absence of their regular captain, who has been rested.

“Virat Kohli is a very good player. Everybody knows that he is a match-winner. But even if he isn’t there in the squad, India still have a very good team. They have many more players,” he said.

In UAE, we have the home advantage as we are aware of how to use the conditions.

“Yes, there is an advantage for us that the way Virat Kohli can handle pressure, someone else who comes in his place might not be able to.

“We are on top right now. [India] are under pressure from the previous defeat.

Pakistan nearly missed out on qualification for the Champions Trophy altogether and began their campaign with a heavy loss to arch rivals India. But then victories over world No. 1 South Africa, Sri Lanka and hosts England set up a tantalising re-match against India in the Final at The Oval. Not to be denied on this occasion, Pakistan set an imposing total of 338, led by a century to Fakhar Zaman before Mohammad Amir and Hasan Ali combined to bowl India out for 158 to deliver an unlikely but memorable triumph.

“In UAE, these are our conditions, we have the home advantage as we have been playing here for long, and are aware of how to use the conditions.”

As for himself, Ali, who has 68 wickets from 33 one-day internationals and is ranked No.3 on the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Rankings for Bowlers, felt he would thrive under pressure.

“I wish to take all 10 wickets rather than a five-for,” he said. “There is definitely pressure but I feel good when pressure mounts on me because that is when I try to perform.”

The 24-year-old pacer is one of the fittest in the Pakistan side, leading to further comparisons with the likes of Kohli, but he brushed it off.

“As a youngster, you want to keep yourself fit and look after yourself. I have played all three formats and playing all three formats is a burden on the body. You need to increase the level of your fitness which is why I have focused on it,” he said.

“There is no need for comparison with Virat Kohli. He is my senior. He is a legend. I focus on my fitness because that brings me consistency.”

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