India's go-to man for the big stage, run-machine Virat Kohli is expected to play an instrumental role in propelling India to Asia Cup glory in Sri Lanka. Before Rohit Sharma's men launch their title bid in the ICC World Cup 2023 at home, the Kohli-starrer side will meet title contenders Sri Lanka and Pakistan in the upcoming edition of the continental tournament. Under Rohit's leadership, Team India had a forgetful run at the Asia Cup last year.
Discussing Kohli's role for the Asia Cup, former cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar explained why the ex-Indian skipper is indispensable to Team India in the 50-over format. Speaking to Star Sports in the lead-up to the Asia Cup, Manjrekar said that he is expecting Kohli to have an impressive campaign at the World Cup. "Great player who has had a great journey. But people change, players change and skills change as well. At this stage, you see that Rohit Sharma, his greatest skill and impact is visible in Test cricket. I expect Virat to have a great World Cup," Manjrekar said. Kohli has played 13 One Day Internationals (ODIs) against Pakistan. Averaging 48.73, Kohli has smashed 536 runs in the Indo-Pak encounters. The 34-year-old also achieved his career-best ODI score of 183 against Pakistan. Kohli has a strike rate close to 100 (96.2) against Babar Azam’s Pakistan side in ODIs. Kohli-starrer India will meet Asia Cup co-hosts Pakistan on Saturday. "With his current state of play, you would think that 50-overs is just the right format for him. On the big stage, he has done it for India on many occasions. You get excited about many young and rising players. But on a big night, we need a player, who has been there, done that. That is where Virat becomes so valuable for India," Manjrekar added.