The Telegraph
Saturday , February 22 , 2014
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India will miss Dhoni: Misbah

Misbah-ul Haq

Lahore: Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq, on Friday, said India will miss the experience of captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the upcoming Asia Cup. However, he insisted that his side will not be taking the world champions lightly.

“India will miss Dhoni’s experience… But Virat Kohli is a suitable replacement. Despite Dhoni’s absence, India cannot be taken lightly. They will still be a strong opposition,” Misbah told reporters at the Gaddafi Stadium on Friday.

“But then, we are not only concerned about India. I say again and again that all the teams will pose a challenge and we have to play at our best to win the title,” he added.

On Thursday, Dhoni was ruled out of the Asia Cup due to a side-strain, which he suffered during the second Test in New Zealand. Kohli will lead the side in his absence.

Misbah said the side’s confidence was high after decent performances in the one-dayers recently.

“We have won the one-day series against South Africa and Sri Lanka… We, obviously, go into the competition with a winning momentum… We are confident that we can also beat India,” he said.

“We have a good combination for one-day cricket even though we will miss Mohammed Irfan in such a major competition.

“Conditions are similar for all the teams but we have a good bowling attack and that is our strongest point… But, obviously, the batsmen have to support them with good scores,” he added.

Meanwhile, Pakistan suffered an injury scare ahead of the Asia Cup when their flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Afridi hurt his jaw during a practice match at the Gaddafi stadium.

“Although the injury is not a serious one, still the doctors have advised him to speak less for two days because the impact was on the jaw,” coach Moin Khan said.

Afridi was hit near the jaw while trying to paddle sweep pacer Junaid Khan.

The ball flew off the edge of the bat and hit his helmet’s visor which struck the jaw. Afridi was seen walking around with a big bruise on the right side of his face.

The former captain is expected to be a key player in Pakistan’s campaign in the Asia Cup, to be held from February 25, and the World T20, which begins on from March 16, in Bangladesh.