The Asia Cup carnival is just around the corners, every nation has presented its best team for the tournament. Every nation pride is at stake, no opposition wants to lose. Every team looks balanced, but the tournament has the history of producing some serious setbacks.
The team like Bangladesh has defeated the big daddies like India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the past showing them the exit gates. The teams like Afghanistan and Hong Kong are making their debut in the tournament and are more than capable of turning the table. Pakistan team is seen as a dark horse of the tournament. The team is a gang of 11 match winners, any player can win the match on its day.
Here are the top 5 Pakistani players to watch out this Asia Cup:-
Fakhar Zaman is the trump card of Pakistan for the upcoming Asia Cup. The word impossible doesn’t belong to his dictionary. After a while Pakistan has produced a batting gem capable of carrying a rich legacy of the past greats. He was the man, who knocked out India in the champions Trophy 2017 final.
During the process, he became the first batsman to score a century in Champions Trophy final. On July 2018, he became the only Pakistani batsman to score a double century in One Day Internationals and remained not out. He scored 210.
He is the fastest player to cross 1000 runs mark in One Day cricket. His ruthless gruesome batting can blow way any pace battery during any crucial moment of the match. Till date he has scored 3 centuries and 6 fifties in just 18 ODI’s at a staggering average of 76.07. Pakistan team has always been in news for top pedigree fast bowlers, but this time the team looks balanced and is ready to throttle every opposition.
No Asian team till date had got the measure of Fakar Zaman. There is no real flaw in his technique and can change gears anytime. He plays both fast and spin bowling well, comfortable with chin music and play reverse swing well. He is among the top players to watch out in Asia Cup 2018.
The injured Indian team is still licking the wound given by England and seeks rest, but there is no stopping. Mohammad Amir is all set to repeat the Champions Trophy final feat this Asia Cup, settling the scores with some Indian batters.
The fast and furious bowler has some alleged affair with batsmen wickets; they both come hand to hand. Since his comeback, he looks a totally different bowler. He has worked a lot on reverse swing and bouncers to surprise the batsman. Who could forget the match, when Mohammad Amir in his first match against India picked up the price scalp of Sachin Tendulkar.
All eyes are on him again, the crowd expects a fierce battle between a bat and ball. In the absence of spearhead Wahab Riaz, he will lead the bowling attack to get the major breakthrough early in the innings. He could turn around the fate of the Pakistan team in this Asia Cup.
Most of the people don’t know, Shoaib Malik made his debut on October 14, 1999 against West Indies. He is into the 19th year of his international career, but can youngsters a fight for life in terms of fitness and skills. This could be the last Asia cup for the old warhorse; he is determined to leave no stones unturned in winning the Asia Trophy for Pakistan.
The tournament will be played in UAE (United Arab Emirates), the conditions perfectly complimenting the Malik technique and stroke play. He could use the long handle down the order to accelerate the run rate. Post 2015, the player is in imperious form and doesn’t want to slip the golden opportunity presented to him. He is living a dream.
His right arm off break is more than useful and can trap even the best in the business. He holds a staggering record in the Asia Cup, with a hundred and few fifties already in the kitty. Once set, he is ruthless and can clobber the bowler to every part of the ground. Indian batting maestro VVS LAxman already feels Shoaib Malik will hold the key for Pakistan.
His fans call him the run machine, he believes in rewriting history and records, he is the modern day generation heartthrob. It is none other than Babar Azam, the emerging superstar of Pakistan cricket. Like his cousin Kamran Akmal, he prefers playing hard hitting strokes and make the bowlers a pay heavy price for his wicket. At the moment, he is the most priced wicket of Pakistan.
His crucial 42 runs of 52 balls in the Champions Trophy 2017 final won his team the final match. After all the brawl and mongering, Pakistan slashed back, defeating India in the ICC tournaments. Babar Azam is ready to repeat the Champions Trophy form and win his team the prestigious trophy.
UAE pitches offer low bounce and almost no lateral movement, making it the batsman paradise. Babar Azam could be the nightmare for every opposition. When he gets going, he makes every penny count. He holds the record of scoring most ODI runs in two consecutive years (2016, 2017).
He has the habit of scoring consecutive centuries, if he got the taste of the blood early in the tournament, it will be curtains for other Asian powers.
He is the surprise package for Pakistan, the 6 feet 6 inches left arm pacer has earned several accolades and awards in Pakistan Super League. He will be making his ODI debut in Asia Cup 2018. The bowler can generate some serious pace and steep bounce causing all kinds of worries to the batsmen.
Subcontinent batsmen aren’t used to bounce and stinging deliveries, he along with Mohammad Amir could castle the top order early, giving their second string bowlers and spinners to capitalize. This is the best Pakistan team by far since the millennium and is geared up to start the tournament with a bang.
Also Check :
- Everything you need to know about Asia Cup
- Asia Cup 2018 : Top 8 Promising Indian Players to Watch Out For
- Asia Cup 2018 – Full Schedule, Venues & Match Details