Anirban Lahiri believes Asia are underdogs for EurAsia Cup victory
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 12/01/16 4:02pm
Anirban Lahiri feels Europe head in to this week’s EurAsia Cup as favourites, despite Asia having home advantage and a stronger side than they did two years ago.
Lahiri is one of five Asian players in action this week to have featured in the inaugural 10-10 draw two years ago, winning two of his three matches in Malaysia to help the hosts recover from an opening-day whitewash.
Thongchai Jaidee was the only member of the inaugural Asian side to have featured inside the world's top 60 at the time, but joins Lahiri as part of a six-man group in that position this time around.
The European side is also significantly stronger this year with Ryder Cup veterans Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter joined by a number of last year's European Tour winners, but Lahiri feels there's the belief within the home team to deliver a shock victory.
"Europe has sent a much stronger team, so that tells you we are strong enough and they are not going to take any chances," Lahiri told a pre-tournament press conference.
"They thought [in 2014] they would send a B team and roll over us and that didn't happen; that raised a lot of eyebrows.
"Two years later, I think the Asian Team is a lot stronger. If the Europeans have sent a stronger team, it's because they know that we are stronger, as well.
"Having said that, I still think that we are going to be underdogs going into the event, which is a good thing for us, because I think it puts more pressure on Europe to win.
"If they send more players who have got Ryder Cup experience, match-play experience, and they still can't beat us, it's going to send some tremors down The Ryder Cup Team."
With Darren Clarke also captaining Europe in this autumn's Ryder Cup, it gives a number of the players this week the chance to make a statement and try and force their way in to the line-up for Hazeltine.
Bernd Wiesberger is one of eight European players in this week's side never to have played in a Ryder Cup, but the Austrian is hoping this week's team golf experience will bolster his chances of a rookie appearance.
"I'm to trying to impress the EurAsia Cup captain first and foremost and then maybe make a little impression towards the Ryder Cup," Wiesberger said. "But everybody is here trying to do their best for the team.
"That's the most important part to start the week with, and everything else comes together hopefully during the year.
"I think you could see that everybody is really excited to be here. It's really good to come out here and have the team environment, have fun in the team room and out on the course and push each other during the week."
Watch the EurAsia Cup throughout the week live on Sky Sports 4 - your home of golf