As India gear up to begin their Asia Cup 2018 campaign on Tuesday (September 18) in a group A match against Hong Kong at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Indian batsman Ambati Rayudu while attending a presser said that Virat Kohli will be a massive miss, but this team India have enough quality on their ranks to clinch the Asia Cup title. Rayudu even said how Mahendra Singh Dhoni affected his career and his influence in the dressing room.
"Obviously, he (Virat) is a big miss and loss to the team. However, we still have enough quality in the team to go out and win. He (Dhoni) has been India's captain and always been the go-to man for everybody in the team," Rayudu said at a press conference on Saturday, adding that Dhoni has helped me a lot in terms of how I recovered this season."
With India still searching for a stand-out, consistent name for their middle-order for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup, players like Rayudu, who have been moving in and out of the playing XI, could cement their spot in the line-up.
"To be very honest, (I) haven't thought about it (middle-order) or looked at it as a competition. It's just an opportunity to express myself and (I) don't want to put more pressure to my game by thinking about these," he said.
The Chennai Super Kings player, who is also returning after a long injury-hit period said that no one from the team is thinking about the World Cup and are completely focused for the Asia Cup only.
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"I don't think anybody is actually thinking about the World Cup. We are in for the Asia Cup and I don't think anybody is thinking about it right now."
India will play back-to-back matches against Hong Kong and arch-rivals Pakistan on September 18 and 19 respectively. However, Rayudu said that it will be a tough outing for team India, but they will give their 100 per cent on the field.
"I don't think it will be a disadvantage. It will be definitely tough and I'm sure we will do best possible things to recover and go out fresh to play the next game."
India starts their Asia Cup 2018 campaign on September 18 against Hong Kong. The Men in Blue are without regular skipper Virat Kohli, and Rohit Sharma will lead the side in his absence.