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India will miss MS Dhoni's experience in Asia Cup: Misbah

Agencies
Feb 21, 2014 at 10:52pm IST

Lahore: Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq said that India will miss the experience of Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the upcoming Asia Cup, but insisted his side will not be taking the World Champions lightly as they remain a strong unit without their regular skipper.

"They will miss his experience and captaincy but Virat Kohli is a suitable replacement and India remains a strong challenge in the tournament," Misbah told reporters at the Gaddafi stadium.

Misbah said he hoped his team will carry the momentum of their recent one-day winning form into the Asia Cup starting in Bangladesh next week.

India will miss MS Dhoni's experience in Asia Cup: Misbah

Misbah-ul-Haq said he hoped his team will carry the momentum of their recent one-day winning form into the Asia Cup starting in Bangladesh next week.

Pakistan will open the defence of the title they won under Misbah in 2012 with a match against Sri Lanka on Tuesday. "For me every team is favourite (to win the Asia Cup) but we definitely have the edge as we have won our last two one-day series," Misbah told reporters on the last day of a training camp.

Pakistan won a three-match series in South Africa 2-1 before taking a five-match series against Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates 3-2 in December last year. Five-time Asian champions India, hosts Bangladesh and Afghanistan are the other teams in the event which runs until March 8.

Misbah-ul-Haq also said that India will miss the experience of Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the upcoming Asia Cup, but insisted his side will not be taking the World Champions lightly as they remain a strong unit without their regular skipper.

"They will miss his experience and captaincy but Virat Kohli is a suitable replacement and India remains a strong challenge in the tournament," Misbah told reporters at the Gaddafi stadium.

"But India apart, I say again and again that all the teams in the Asia Cup remain strong challengers for the title," he said.

Dhoni was today ruled out of the Asia Cup yesterday due to a side-strain injury that he suffered during the second Test in New Zealand, paving the way for Virat Kohli to lead the side.

Misbah believed hosts Bangladesh are also dangerous. "In their home conditions Bangladesh will also be very dangerous because the way they played in the last Asia Cup, beating India and Sri Lanka, they will be equally dangerous," said Misbah.

Misbah said because of the twin wins, Pakistan have an ideal combination. "We have given good performances and because we won the last two series the combination is good and when you are on a winning run your confidence is high and that's the case with us," said Misbah.

Misbah refused to reveal his plans when asked about when he would hang up his boots. "I don't know why people are after me," said a visibly irked 39-year-old, who leads Pakistan in Tests and one-day matches.

"I want to play with commitment as long as I play," said Misbah, the world's leading scorer in one-days in 2013 with 1,373. Despite his form there remain concerns who will lead Pakistan in the 2015 World Cup to be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand. Pakistan will fly to Dhaka on Saturday.

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