The associate nation players, in their interaction with the reporters here, were all praise for the Indian players, terming both Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma incredibly insightful.
“Like Babar said it was once in a lifetime thing we don’t know when we will have to play them again. Hopefully in the next Asia Cup or potentially in the World Cup depending on what happens, but it has been amazing they have been so nice. It was nice interacting with them for the first time,” said pacer Ayush Shukla.
Conversations to remember, memories to cherish and lessons for the taking! 👍 👍Wholesome scenes in the #TeamIndia… https://t.co/Lv89UFBz2u
— BCCI (@BCCI) 1662033600000
On taking the wicket of Rohit Sharma, the young player said that it still feels unreal to have dismissed the top batter.
“For me, it is a big thing to get Rohit Sharma in my fifth and sixth T20I. I still can’t believe that I dismissed Rohit Sharma. For me, it is just a big experience playing with them,” Shukla added.
The cricketer, who is also a finance and account student, said that playing with test-playing nations is a big learning curve for the team.
Wanting to imbibe the learnings from the Indian team, he said, “100 per cent, I got only one wicket in four overs I bowled. From the sidelines, we got to learn a lot after watching their bowling. It has just been great, the kind of lifestyle they have, their preparation towards the game even we want to replicate that. We want to be as professional as them or even close to them. So, we got to learn a lot and we are excited about the next game.”
Adding about his experience of playing with Virat Kohli, he said, “For us, it’s massive at the end of the day to play against Virat Kohli will probably be the best thing to happen to both of us. So, seeing him and seeing what he does and how he prepares. Not just him, but every single player is extremely important and it builds on every single person’s game, especially speaking to them on the field immediately we had questions on how they train and what they do. Obviously, we know the difference in the facility between us and them, but whatever information we can get and get as much as we can is absolutely massive and putting on tournaments like this for associate nations is good. It is a great learning experience for the young guys and Babar, who is playing his second Asia Cup. It’s massive.”
Hong Kong will face Pakistan in the final tie-up of Group A, for a place in the quarterfinals. The match will be played on Friday and promises to be a gripping contest, given the spectacular form of Hong Kong.
Pakistan and Hong Kong both lost their first match to India earlier in the tournament. While India defeated Pakistan by five wickets, Afghanistan lost the match by 40 runs against India.
The winner of the match will join India, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka in the Super 4 stage of the Asia Cup.