Virat Kohli may be going through a prolonged lean patch but competing against a cricketer like him is extremely challenging and one has to be on top of his game to match the Indian star, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam said in Dubai on Saturday.
"Nothing is easy in life. There are challenges everywhere. It is up to you how you achieve things in life and how you overcome the challenges you face. Virat is still one of the best batters world cricket," Babar said on the eve of the blockbuster Asia Cup match between India and Pakistan.
"How you compete against a player like him, and that too in different conditions, is very important."
Kohli, once again, found support from the Pakistani star batter, who indicated that an athlete has to be really strong to overcome failures.
"Every cricketer, if you ask me, faces ups and downs in their career. It's not that there is only success and no failures. You really need a strong mindset to handle things in life that often do not go in your favour," Babar said.
Last year's T20 World Cup win is a thing of past now
While Pakistan humbled India in last year's T20 World Cup, and registered their first-ever World Cup win over their arch-rivals, Babar dismissed suggestions that Sunday's match between the two teams will be one-sided just like that game.
"Honestly, that game is a thing of past now. It won't have an impact on Sunday's match. I am completely focused on tomorrow's game. The teams are kind of different, the conditions are different. Although as a side we are confident, we won't talk big ahead of the game. We wish to prove it on the field. As a captain, I am ready to give my 100 percent," he said.
"Every cricket lover around the world waits for this clash. We, as cricketers also enjoy taking part in it. Both the teams try their best to keep their respective fans happy."
Always love interacting with the Indian players
The Pakistan captain candidly said that he enjoys interacting with the Indian cricketers before they square up in big tournaments.
"Yes, we love interacting with them. As cricketers, it is important we do that. I think it is pretty normal thing to do that. We do the same with the other teams as well," Babar said.
Shaheen's absence is a big factor
Babar hinted that the absence of star left-arm seamer Shaheen Shah Afridi has slightly changed the dynamics of Sunday's big game and had the 22-year-old taken part, things could have been different.
"Of course. Had Shaheen played the game against India tomorrow, things could have been in our favour. But he is out now. Having said that, our other fast bowlers are quite good and ready to deliver for the side,' Babar said.
Not taking the Indian bowlers lightly
While India will be out the services of star pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel, Babar said they can't afford to take the Indian attack lightly.
"Not any particular bowler, but I am taking every bowler quite seriously. I always do that as a batsman, irrespective of the fact, who I face. Every team has their top bowlers, and as a batsman you always have to ready yourself to face them. They can give you a tough time at any given moment," Babar said.