India’s clinical show in Asia Cup didn’t surprise Waqar Younis

India’s clinical show in Asia Cup didn’t surprise Waqar Younis

He was also impressed with Rohit's leadership skills.

Waqar Younis
Waqar Younis. (Photo Source: Twitter)

He was never known to be generous in his playing days when he made it a habit of crushing batsmen’s toes and stumps with his deadly yorkers. But even the former Pakistan great Waqar Younis conceded that Team India’s performance in the just-concluded Asia Cup was “professional” and it did well without the services of its regular captain Virat Kohli.

Younis, who made his international debut along with the legendary Sachin Tendulkar in the same series in 1989, has been one of the greatest fast bowlers Pakistan has ever produced. He grabbed 789 international wickets in 87 Tests and 262 ODIs played between 1989 and 2003.

The 46-year-old, who also captained and coached Pakistan in the past, said India’s professionalism in the Asia Cup did not surprise him, even if they did not have Kohli in their ranks. The Men in Blue remained undefeated under stand-in captain Rohit Sharma in the campaign and beat Bangladesh by three wickets in a thrilling final to lift the title. India also thumped Pakistan twice in the tournament en route their seventh Asia Cup title.

You cannot really challenge him

Speaking to Khaleej Times in an interview on Friday, Younis said, “See, Virat Kohli is Virat Kohli. You cannot really challenge that. But I think even without him this Indian team has really done well in the Asia Cup.”

“Look, India is a very professional outfit when it comes to playing in this part of the world. Playing on these pitches is very much like playing in India. They have got a world class openers. And it is very difficult when you have someone like Rohit (Sharma) and Shikhar (Dhawan) opening the innings and they are giving you a good partnership almost every time.”

Rohit and Dhawan gave India steady starts in most matches and their best moment came in the Super Four game against Pakistan in which they put up 210 runs for the opening stand to guide India to a nine-wicket victory, their heaviest win against Pakistan batting second.

Rohit Sharma’s leadership also impressed Younis

Waqar Younis was equally impressed with Rohit’s captaincy in the tournament. He said the latter did a “wonderful job” and his captaincy was growing every day. He commended Rohit’s calm approach towards the game while also recalling Rohit’s captaincy in the Indian Premier League (IPL), a tournament in which the right-handed batsman led his side Mumbai Indians to three titles in four editions between 2013 and 2017.

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