Asia Cup 2018: India without Virat Kohli is an advantage for us, says Mashrafe Mortaza

Asia Cup 2018: India without Virat Kohli is an advantage for us, says Mashrafe Mortaza

Kohli has been rested from the Asia Cup after a long tour of England.

Mashrafe Mortaza
Mashrafe Mortaza of Bangladesh celebrates a wicket. (Photo by Martin Hunter/Getty Images)

Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza said that Virat Kohli’s absence from the Indian team will work as an advantage for his team when the two sides meet on Friday. Bangladesh will be playing India in Dubai as part of the Super 4 phase of the tournament. Both Bangladesh and Afghanistan progressed to the second phase of the Asia Cup after they registered convincing victories over Sri Lanka. Bangladesh is also taking on Afghanistan in the final Group B game, which will have no consequence on the Super 4 qualification.

Virat Kohli was rested for the Asia Cup after a long tour of England where India played 3 T20Is, 3 ODIs and 5 Test matches. Kohli scored runs aplenty, especially in the Test series, amassing a total of 593 runs. Rohit Sharma is captaining India in Virat Kohli’s absence. India are defending champions of the Asia Cup after they defeated Bangladesh in the final in 2016.

Missing Tamim an advantage for India: Mortaza

When asked if Kohli’s absence in the Indian team will work to Bangladesh’s advantage, Mashrafe Mortaza said, “Why only Bangladesh, his (Kohli) absence is an advantage for everyone. We are also missing Tamim Iqbal which can be an advantage for every other team. His record speaks for itself as he has been a star for Bangladesh. Obviously his absence will be a big blow for us but it also presents a huge opportunity for the other youngsters.”

Tamim Iqbal has been ruled out of the Asia Cup after he fractured his left wrist. However, the left-handed opener came back to bat with one hand. Tamim was lauded for his bravery.

The last time these two teams met was in the final of the Nidahas Trophy, a T20I tri-series played between India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, to commemorate Sri Lanka’s 70th year of independence. Bangladesh were put in to bat first, and put up a fighting total of 166. In reply, India’s batsmen struggled to score runs freely. It came down to the final ball off which India required 5 runs to win. Dinesh Karthik then smashed Soumya Sarkar for a flat six over cover to win a thriller, leaving the Bangladeshi fans in disbelief.

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