India have slight edge over Pakistan because of MS Dhoni: Muralitharan

first_imgSri Lanka great Muttiah Muralitharan said India have a slight edge over Pakistan in the Asia Cup – the two arch-rivals will face off in Dubai for the first time since the Champions Trophy final in England last year.India are without Virat Kohli who has been rested for the tournament. Led by Rohit Sharma, India beat Hong Kong on Tueday but the focus will be on the high-octane clash on Wednesday.All the talk has obviously revolved around the India-Pakistan match and Kohli’s absence from the Asia Cup. Will his absence impact India’s chances? Will Pakistan ride high on their confidence of the Champions Trophy triumph?Who has the edge?India vs Pakistan Asia Cup 2018: Live ScoreMuralitharan, one of several cricketing superstars at Salaam Cricket 2018, picked India as favourites over Pakistan because of their experience and the presence of a certain player called MS Dhoni.”India have the edge because Pakistan are a young team. And they are improving. India have got the talent. A lot of their players have played a lot of ODIs, a lot of T20s… They have more exposure than Pakistan’s players,” Muralitharan said at Salaam Cricket.Read – Akram, Gavaskar discuss Virat Kohli’s absence from Asia Cup”And they key factor is that MS Dhoni is still behind the wickets. He can control a lot because of his experience. That gives a little more edge to India but Pakistan have also played in Dubai.. they know how to play here but India have a slight edge because of Dhoni.”advertisementRead – Wasim Akram backs India, Sunil Gavaskar backs Pakistan in Asia Cup 2018Meanwhile, India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh also backed India even without Kohli.”India are favourites even without Kohli. India’s batting is superior. They have not done well but forget about that. Those were different conditions but in Asian conditions, it will be tough to get Indian batsmen out. I think India are favourites not just because of their batting department.”In the bowling department too, India have a lot of depth with Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar fit and the two spinners, especially Kuldeep Yadav – he will be the key factor for India.”I would say India have a better chance than Pakistan. With all due respect Pakistan have done very well over the years,” he said at Salaam Cricket.Also Read – Kohli’s absence big relief for Pakistan bowlers: Misbah-ul-HaqOn Tuesday, India rode on Shikhar Dhawan’s 14th ODI hundred to beat Hong Kong by 26 runs.last_img