As the Asia Cup 2018 is starting from 15th September 2018 in the UAE, participating teams are geared up to put up a fierce battle for victory.
This will be the 14th edition of the Asia cup, hosting by UAE for the third time.
This time, Asia cup 2018 teams include Pakistan, India and Hong Kong are together in Group A. Whereas, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are in Group B.
Despite having lost its ODI status earlier this year, Hong Kong qualified by defeating the UAE in the qualifying final.
Arch rivals India and Pakistan are meeting on 19th September in the fifth match of the tournament.
The million dollar question that comes to every Pakistani and Indian fan is, who is going to lift the trophy this time?
The strongest contender for Asia Cup 2018 is Pakistan. Virat Kohli’s absence would definately weaken the Indian batting line up. But nonetheless, even if Kohli was part of the Indian team, Pakistan still had better chances of winning.
Chances of Pakistan Lifting the Asia Cup 2018
Pakistan’s pace bowling attack is their biggest strength. Having Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Amir as the front line bowlers, Shaheen Afridi, and Usman Shinwari (who can play in case of injury to leading bowlers), Pakistan surely has the potential to thrash any team.
All rounder Shadab Khan is definately a match winner. He continues to impress with the bat and ball and can take key wickets when required. He is fearless and can take tough decisions in pressure games. Who can forget his review decision last year in Champions trophy final against Yuvraj Singh? He is definately skillful and can make a difference for his side.
A huge moment for Pakistan as Virat Kohli spooned a catch to point and Shadab Khan made no mistake
— ICC (@ICC) June 18, 2017
With his clever bowling and gutsy bowling, he can turn the game in favor of Pakistan anytime.
Fakhar Zaman is another key player for Pakistan. He proved his credential from time to time. He can put up a big total on the score board which can give pressure to the opposite team.
Congratulations to @FakharZamanLive on becoming the first ever Pakistan batsman to score a double century in ODIs. Proud to have witnessed this sublime knock. Very few batsmen have dominated an entire limited overs tour as he has. #PAKvZIM
— Javed Afridi (@JAfridi10) July 20, 2018
Bowling all rounder Faheem Ashraf has provided this team with some much needed balance. He can be the fourth seam bowler and smash some big sixes as he bats down the order.
Asif Ali is the perfect find for Pakistan, as he can hit big sixes in the last overs. was desperate to find a big hitter,and have finally found one in the shape of Asif Ali. Captain Sarfraz Ahmed and coach Mickey Arthur should definitely be brave enough to use him on top the order as well.
Lastly, experienced Shoaib Malik is always dangerous against spinners. It will be interesting to see how he plays against Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. If Pakistan can negate this spin combo, nothing can stop them from beating their opponents.
Chances for India in Asia Cup 2018
Indian team mainly rely on their strong batting line up. Both openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan will have to perform well if India has to fill the gap of Virat Kohli. Most experienced former Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has lost his charm as a powerful hitter. He is no more a match winning factor for India.
Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are two main bowlers for India. It would be interesting to watch how they will restrict Fakhar Zaman. Thus a lot of responsibility rests on the shoulders of this Indian bowling pair.
One thing worth watching would be the battle between Rohit Sharma and Mohammad Amir. However, perhaps calling it a battle would be an insult to Mohammad Amir, as he has dominated Rohit Sharma throughout their interaction and made him eat his own words.
At the end of the day, the ‘favorite’ tag has never really worked for Pakistan. The national team has worked wonders when they are ‘under dogs’.
Men in green should not relax or underestimate their opponents in Asia Cup 2018 matches. The entire nation waits for their national heroes to bring another cup home.
What do you think about this battle of Ind Vs. Pak happening on 19th September? Comment below!