Mirpur: Asia Cup is a perfect platform to assess the team's strengths, weaknesses and current standing ahead of the upcoming World Twenty20, India's batting mainstay Virat Kohli said here on Tuesday.
India lock horns with Bangladesh in the Asia Cup T20 opener on Wednesday, kicking off their final phase of preparations for next month's World T20 to be held in India.
“Going into the World Cup, the conditions are going to be similar and we will probably be playing all these oppositions at some stage. So, playing against these teams gives us a great opportunity to assess our strengths and weaknesses vis-a-vis our opponents'.
"You can say Asia Cup is a whole package before the World Cup,” Kohli said at the pre-match media conference here.
India begin the tournament on the back of impressive outings in T20 format against Australia and Sri Lanka.
“Asia Cup has always been a challenging tournament; it's like a mini-event as far as the sub-continental teams are concerned. It's an opportunity to test yourself against the best teams in the sub continent. It's a competitive tournament with different oppositions with different skillsets testing you all the time.”
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's availability in the opener remains doubtful after he suffered muscle spasms during a training session. BCCI has rushed in Parthiv Patel as a backup.
Kohli did not clarify on whether Dhoni will sit out Wednesday's match.
“With Parthiv coming in, we will have to sit down and see if that situation comes where he has to play. We will then have to sort out a combination, the best possible for the team in terms of the batting order but, as of now, we cannot.Unless we have a decision we cannot sit down and make a concrete plan.”
“Obviously a discussion will take place, it will happen during the course of the day. It's going to be different from what we have been playing with till now. We just have to wait and see how the situation pans out,”Kohli said.
Emboldened by the recent success at home and away in T20s, Dhoni recently said that the team is in auto-pilot mode, and Kohli looked at the remark very positively.
“MS was spot on because I think it comes from the fact that we play a lot of T20 cricket. In IPL, we get so many games to play and execute our skills, so you keep getting better every season.
“If you see the number of games sin the IPL, those are are very high so everyone knows what needs to be done and at what stage of the game in that tournament. I think even MS is not required to put in so much thought on what needs to be done because the players are experienced. That takes the load off. So that's why he said the team is in auto pilot mode. I think that's what he meant.
“That everyone knows what needs to be done at what stage throughout the 20 overs, be it batting, bowling or on the field. I think it's a very good atmosphere right now. Everyone is very sure what needs to be done.” PTI