Asia Cup: UAE coach Aaqib Javed ‘might have done well’ against unstoppable Virat Kohli

The accounts clerks, baggage handlers and operations executives of the national cricket team will on Thursday evening try to solve a conundrum that has proved beyond most of the world’s most celebrated cricketers.

UAE'scricket team coach Aaqib Javed with his team at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National
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DHAKA // The accounts clerks, baggage handlers and operations executives of the national cricket team will on Thursday evening try to solve a conundrum that has proved beyond most of the world’s most celebrated cricketers.

Meaning, they will have to try to find a way to dismiss Virat Kohli, in their last match in the Asia Cup in Bangladesh. The India batsman is in irresistible form, averaging 103.66 in Twenty20 Internationals this year.

Read also: Paul Radley on are India too good? Kohli and Co risk being undercooked for World T20 with Asia Cup cruise

Luminous list

Luckily, the UAE have within their tour party someone who has taken an international hat-trick against India. Aaqib Javed’s victims made up a luminous list, too.

He dismissed Ravi Shastri, Mohammed Azharuddin, and Sachin Tendulkar in consecutive deliveries in a Sharjah Cup match between Pakistan and India in 1991. The UAE coach reckons he might have fared OK against Kohli.

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So brave

“Seriously? I might have done well,” Aaqib said, when musing how he might have bowled against Kohli. “The only chance he gives any bowler is when the ball is moving away from the bat.

“My bowling was always on a good length, moving away. But he is so smart, and so brave at taking on anything.”

Performing under pressure

India have already qualified for Sunday’s final, while the UAE are already out, so the stakes are low. Aaqib believes Kohli is at his best when the pressure is at its height.

“He always performs better against Pakistan, he always performs better in big games,” Aaqib said. “I think he is one of the best players at the moment, who performs under pressure, on difficult pitches, and at difficult times.”

Need to perform

The UAE players have been under a different type of pressure to perform at this competition, according to the coach.

“If you don’t qualify for the mega events, then our board and people say, ‘The performances aren’t there’,” said Aaqib, whose team played at the last two global tournaments, but missed out on this month’s World T20.

Wanting respect

“Once you qualify for these events, the responsibility is on you to make sure you post something that is respectable,” Aaqib said.

“There are people sitting at home watching international cricket, and the responsibility is on you to you to maintain that standard. That is the pressure.”

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