UAE spinner looking forward to dismissing Virat Kohli in the Asia Cup
Ahmed Raza, a left-arm spinner who plays for UAE, has expressed the desire to claim the precious wicket of India's ace batsman Virat Kohli in the first ever T20 Asia Cup.
Raza had missed out on a berth in his team's squad for the ODI World Cup last year, however, he will be looking to make up for it here. The 27-year old has played just 9 T20Is for UAE so far and picked up 7 wickets.
He is part of the UAE team which pipped Afghanistan, Oman and Hong Kong in the Asia Cup qualifiers to make it as the fifth team in the tournament, alongside India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
It is the first time Raza will be in action against Test playing nations and he is looking forward to making the most of the opportunity. Although he would love to rub shoulders with legends like MS Dhoni, Shahid Afridi and Lasith Malinga, he is determined to make an impact against Kohli.
On being asked about what he feels about the prolific Indian batsman when speaking to sport360.com, Raza was quoted saying, "He’s (Kohli) the big gun. I’m looking forward to bowling to Virat Kohli. He’s in such great form and is a fantastic cricketer. He’s a really good talent and one of the best players around. It would be great to bowl to him but would be even better for me to get him out.”
Raza is quite unfazed by the challenge that awaits him in his first major international tournament. “To be honest, it’s just another game of cricket,”, he said, ““Yes, it will be a great feeling for me to play against the big boys, but I’ve played more than 100 games for the UAE. The matches will be the same as any other I play in.”
About his team's preparation for the Asia Cup, he said ““The mood in the camp is really good. We can take a lot from these three games we’ve played against Afghanistan, Oman and Hong Kong. The team bonding is strong and we are all playing for each other. We respect each other’s performances.”
On his own performance, Ahmed Raza quipped, “I’m really enjoying myself here and very happy with the way I’ve been bowling.”