What can be expected from the underdog teams in the upcoming Asia Cup 2023?

Asia Cup

The 50-over format (ODIs) will be applied to every game during the sixteenth season of the Asia Cup, which will take place in August and September of this year. This time, the competition will be co-hosted by Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

This year’s competition features six teams, including the defending champions, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal. This will be the first Asia Cup that multiple countries will jointly host, with four matches taking place in Pakistan and the remainder in Sri Lanka.
The teams are divided into two groups: Group A includes Nepal, India, and Pakistan, while Group B consists of Sri Lanka, the current champions, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. As of now, India appears to be the overwhelming favourite to win the event this year.

They struggled in 2022 when the Asia Cup was conducted in the T20 format, but this year it is in the ODI format, and it is exceedingly tough for any team to beat the Indians in this format of the game. Although India are the favourites, it would be a mistake to write any side out of the running for the 2023 Asia Cup.

A few of the teams, such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal, are the underdogs in the tournament. But since the Asia Cup is going to take place in the subcontinent, where the pitches are spin-friendly, the stature of teams such as Afghanistan and Bangladesh increases.

Of all the participating teams, Afghanistan most likely boasts the strongest spin bowling unit. On their best days, bowlers like Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, and Mujeeb ur Rahman can trouble any batting lineup. Batters such as Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmat Shah will be the players to watch out for, as they have grown their game a lot.

Afif Hossain, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, and Shakib Al Hasan are three outstanding spinners from Bangladesh that have the capability to dismantle any batting lineup on their kind of pitch. Bangladesh’s main strength is their spin bowling all-rounders, who can chip in important runs whenever the team needs them.

Nepal is a team that is getting a chance to participate in the Asia Cup after winning the Men’s ACC Premier Cup, which is a qualifier tournament for Asian teams. The players of Nepal are also coming from participating in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers 2023. A lot would not be expected from this team as they are still in the growing stage, but they would like to utilise this opportunity to the fullest and turn a few tables.

India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka are the top contenders, but they will face some tough challenges from Bangladesh and Afghanistan. It would not be a big surprise if Afghanistan, with their excellent spin bowling, managed to upset one of the big teams.

Afghanistan and Bangladesh are no longer considered minnows in international cricket and have the power to beat any team in white-ball cricket. This Asia Cup is going to be a great battle among all these six teams, where Group B, consisting of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, is the group of death.