Pakistan have started their Asia Cup journey beating Hong Kong and are now waiting to lock horns with arch rivals India.
Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar reckoned Pakistan as the favorites considering the added advantage of playing in the United Arab Emirates regularly.
“I think Pakistan start as favorites more than India, because they have been playing in those conditions (in the UAE) for a while now and it’s a team which is on the surge.
Indicating Kohli’s absence as a significant deprivation of team India, Manjrekar said, “India, of course, are resting Virat (Kohli), which takes a lot of strength away from the team.”
India, are, meanwhile, yet to open their account in the Asia Cup. The Rohti Sharma led India are going to start their campaign on Tuesday against minnows Hong Kong.
“India are obviously one of the contenders, but when you look at favoritism, which team can be rated as the strongest. It’s Pakistan because of where it is being played,” explained Manjrekar.
“Earlier, India had batting strength but the bowling did not quite measure up. Now they also have game changers in the middle, so the team wins more matches than it used to because of Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav in the middle. It’s a more balanced 50 overs team in a long, long time,” said Manjrekar.