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I saw Davis (Love III) at a range somewhere and I kind of told him that I was captaining.

The nine-time European Tour victor is part of a 12-man line-up representing Team Europe against Team Asia at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club in Malaysia starting Friday. I know we all are good friends on Team Asia, so everybody is friendly, funny.

Atwal's strategic pairing of Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai and Japan's Hideto Tanihara where there is a mix of youth and experience could prove to be the difference as they face off with Sweden's Alex Noren and Ireland's Paul Dunne.

Yet, Europe, who are also preparing for the Ryder Cup against the United States later this year, were not willing to take Asia lightly. However, the most interesting participant must be Paul Casey, who, after making himself eligible again to play for the Ryder Cup by rejoining the Tour in November, is in his first blue and gold teamroom for a decade.

The Asian team, captained by Arjun Atwal of India, includes three of the top five ranked players on the Asian Tour.

"When I walk around [at events] and see Tyrrell Hatton and Sergio Garcia, my mind is on them, how they're playing and how I can utilise them".

"It hurt a lot", admitted Casey, right, in an interview with Sky Sports ahead of the EurAsia Cup, which got underway today and sees the Europeans as hot-favourites to defend the trophy with a team containing six players in the world's top 20. The European team is strong but we are just as strong.

"When I spend time with them here, it's a bit of a different environment, and I have their ear a little bit better this week than I do week in, week out because I am their captain this week and I'm guiding the whole group to where we want to go".

Asia trailed heavily on the first day of the previous competitions in 2014 and 2016, and lost the first match at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club when Tommy Fleetwood and Paul Casey beat Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Byeong-hun An, 4 and 3.

"I think this is good for us, giving us encouragement and motivation".

The Indian captain has also turned to golf ace Tiger Woods for advice as he aims to inspire his team. "You can be underdogs on paper, but once the matches start, anything can happen". I'm very comfortable with him because of the same language we speak and we've played together on many occasions, so that's a very good thing.

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