Pakistan wary of India even without Kohli
Asia Cup starts with a match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh on Saturday (15th September).
The upset win over India in the Champions Trophy final at the Oval in London in 2017 gave the fans in Pakistan a great occasion to celebrate their young heroes.
Bespectacled left-handed batsman Imam ul Haq believes winning Asia Cup would be a great occasion for the fans.
Understandably, the hype is about Pakistan's second match in the tournament - where they clash with arch rivals India.
The 22-year-old Imam ul Haq does not believe there would be any psychological scars for India from the Champions Trophy defeat.
"To be honest, I don't think so. Don't think there is any psychological effect. Yes, whenever there is a Pakistan v India match, you have to control all the nerves. Everything can go against you as well, can also go in support of you. So the previous records don't matter at all. This is such a game that all that matters is how you perform on that day. Nothing else. India is a very good side, and Pakistan (too), We both are very good sides. Going into the World Cup, it is going to be a good match and we are just focusing on the match," Imam ul Haq was quoted as saying.
When asked about the absence of Virat Kohli in the team, Imam said, "Look, India is a very good team. Yes, Virat (Kohli) is not there and that will have an effect on them. But despite that India is still a good batting side. Moreover, the wickets in Dubai are very similar to the Indian wickets. Especially similar to both Pakistan and India because we play here a lot. So we haven't given too much of a thought about them (India), just want to play aggressive cricket. That's what we were taught. If you look at our performances after the Champions Trophy, it is very good. So we will just play with a very positive mind set and hopefully it will be a good match."
However, he reckons the absence of Virat Kohli could affect India's chances.
Before the match against India, Pakistan play Hong Kong in their first match on Sunday.
Imam ul Haq is the nephew of Pakistan's former captain and prolific batsman Inzamam ul Haq and the pressure to emulate his high profile uncle is showing on the youngster.
Imam, however, silenced few of his critics when he slammed four centuries in the his first few ODI matches.
The stylish left hander is hoping to leave a mark of his own after Asia Cup and the bilateral series against Australia.