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2 reasons why Virat Kohli will play Asia Cup 2018

ANALYST
Feature
7.93K   //    26 Aug 2018, 21:24 IST

England v India: Specsavers 3rd Test - Day Three
Virat established his dominance over England with a hundred in Trent Bridge

The Indian captain, Virat Kohli has been in imperious form in the ongoing 5-match Test series against the England team.

With 2 breath-taking centuries, he conquered his longtime alien Territory (England) and silenced his critics. With the series kept alive after a terrific win at Trent Bridge, Virat Kohli and his men will look upon to up the ante and push themselves for a series win in England after 11 years.

Virat with a 97 and 103 in the 3rd match, has regained the top spot of the Test rankings, going past his 'Australian nemesis' Steve Smith. With a rating of 937, Virat is just 1 point away from breaking into the top-10 list of all-time highest rated players.

Everyone in the cricket community reckons that Virat will be rested for upcoming Asia Cup tournament after the gruelling tour of England. It is indeed a rational thought, considering his workload across all the formats. A recent survey revealed that Virat is the most overworked cricketer in the world when compared to his companions and competitors.

England & India Net Sessions
Virat trained hard to get fit for the 3rd Test

We saw the adverse effects of the heavy workload during the 2nd Test against England, where Virat was found writhing in pain due to back strain. The same happened during the end of the South African tour which led to Virat's absence in the final match of the tour (3rd T20I match).

But, the following 2 reasons will be a motivating factor for Virat to participate in the Asia Cup 2018:


#2: No Asia Cup title as captain

New Zealand v India
No Asia Cup titles as captain

Virat Kohli became full-time captain of the Indian limited-overs team during England's Tour of India, 2016-17 when Mahendra Singh Dhoni decided to step down from the leadership. But, Virat had already captained the Indian team during the Asia Cup, 2014 where they suffered a heart-breaking loss against Sri Lanka and Pakistan to bow out of the tournament.

Though the Indian team is the defending champion in Asia Cup now, it was claimed under Dhoni's captaincy in 2016. Personally, Virat has a tremendous record in Asia Cup, scoring 613 runs at a staggering average of 61.30 with 3 centuries and a fifty in ODIs. His highest knock of 183 came in a riveting chase against Pakistan in Asia Cup, 2012.

Hence, Virat will look upon to capitalize on the available opportunity to win his first Asia Cup as captain.


#1: Seek revenge for Champions Trophy loss

India v Pakistan - ICC Champions Trophy Final
India v Pakistan - ICC Champions Trophy final, 2017

No Indian fan will never forget the humiliating loss suffered at the hands of Pakistan in the final of Champions Trophy, 2017. After a comprehensive win in the group match against Pakistan, India succumbed under pressure in the final of the Champions Trophy.

Using the reprieve from Bumrah's famous no-ball, Fakhar Zaman went on to score a scintillating hundred to accelerate Pakistan past the 300-run mark.

Chasing a mammoth total of 339, Mohammad Aamir ran through the Indian top order within a span of 3 overs. He scalped important wickets like Rohit, Virat and Dhawan to lead Pakistan to a 180-run victory.

Hence, Asia Cup will be India's only chance to face the Pakistani pace-attack before ICC Cricket World Cup, 2019 and seek revenge for the Champions Trophy loss.

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ANALYST
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