Asia Cup is round the corner and the train of excitement is ready to board the souls of all the cricket fans. Here is a quick preview of the stroke-makers and chase-breakers, Asia Cup 2018 has to offer the fans, this cricket season.
- Sri Lanka’s best batsmen line-up.
Indian fans seems to be riding high with the team’s line-up, but one can claim that Sri Lanka have mightier batsmen than India or Pakistan and their probable top four are a tension builder for opposite teams. Upul Tharanga has some best offside shots in his pockets; Kusal Mendis calmly holds his strokes on the legside; Niroshan Dickwella is dynamic behind the wicket; and Dhananjaya de Silva’s every move on the field, be it, driving or sweeping, is more than a cinematic experience or a high quality VFX. If these strikers manage to hold the ground for long enough then, chasing the score will be not more than a nightmare.
2. Pakistan’s art of bowling.
Pakistan have played the most on the traditionally placid pitches of the UAE than any other of the late and also surprised many with their squad selection. Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammed Amir, Junaid Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Usman Khan all feature in the 16-man squad, and this might prove to give a halt to the teams desperately looking for a slot in the World Cup in England. Their abilities are likely to create a menace on field.
3. Bangladesh’s Fizz at the death.
Mustafizur Rahman is expected to do the bulk of Bangladesh’s bowling in the death overs, invariably closing out the innings. In 14 matches in the last two years, he has conceded at 5.53 runs per over in the last five overs of an ODI, and picked up eight wickets in this period. His variations obviously come into play, but so do deliveries which simply run past right and left-handers. Rubel Hossain has taken 11 wickets in the same phase of the innings (since 2016), but he doesn’t have Mustafizur’s control and can leak runs.
4. India overdose with best batsmen.
India’s struggle to choose the best ‘among the best’ has been creating a lot of buzz during the making of the squad. KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik are all bumping for positions in the middle order. Karthik’s struggles in England against the red ball and his subsequent ouster from the Test squad makes his Nidahas Trophy heroics and sparkling IPL form seem distant. Pandey had a horror IPL, but has been in a prolific white-ball form: his last four innings – all against the A teams of India, South Africa and Australia – read 73*, 117*, 21* and 95*.