Asia Cup is about to kick start on 15th September 2018. The crucial game between India and Pakistan will be held on 19th September in Dubai. Both the arch-rivals will play a game after a long gap of a year after the final match of Champions Trophy 2017.
India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh will play along with one of the qualified teams from Oman, UAE, Malaysia, and Hongkong. The tournament will be played in group format followed by Super Four Round. The top two teams from Super Four will fight for the tournament in the final match. The Asia Cup will be played in the 50-over format as a warm-up for the World cup 2018. Indians are the defending champions in the Asia Cup.
Here are the things India should watch for in the Asia Cup 2018.
- Indian batting order
Indian batting order is the important factor the team has to watch on. The middle order seems fragile and over dependency on the top order is another drawback for the team. KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya seem to attain attention as the consistent batsman and a bowling all-rounder respectively. There is a tough competition for the no.4 batsman among KL Rahul, Kedar Jadhav, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, and Manish Pandey.
Afghanistan is a blooming team besides growing formidable all these years. Rashid Khan, Mohammed Nabi, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman are consistent bowlers that can confuse Indian batsmen with their spin attack. Though they lost their one-off test match in India, they succeeded to beat Bangladesh on their own soil. They formed a solid T20 team and the viewers are excited to see their performance with players like Stanikzai and Mohammed Shehzad in the ODI format.
- Underperforming teams
Though India and Pakistan seem, strong Asian teams, the players from underperforming teams look dangerous. Players like Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal shocked many batsmen with their all-around performance. Bowlers like Mushfiqul Rahim, Mortaza, Upul Tharanga, and Kushal Mendis are a point of worry for the opponent teams.
- Pakistani bowlers
Pakistani bowlers like Shoaib Malik and Shadab Khan have the potential to onslaught opponent batsmen along with high-quality pacers like Usman Khan, Mohammed Amir, Hasan Ali, and Junaid Khan. Faheem Ashraf is one among blossoming speedsters from Pakistan. Pakistan is looking to smash Indian batsmen as they did in the Champions Trophy last year.
- Asia cup- an opportunity to scan for IPL Players
Asia cup acts as a scanner for IPL 2019 to pick outstanding players for the upcoming season. Since the general elections in India will take place in 2019 during IPL season, there are speculations that IPL 2019 might be played at UAE. There are predictions about Ashgar Stanikzai, Kusal Mendis, Akila Dananjaya and Sabbir Rahman might play in the upcoming IPL along with budding players like Sandeep Lamicchane and Chirag Suri. Indians might look to play along with players from associate teams in the upcoming IPL on the grounds of their performances in Asia Cup.