The first match will start at 7.30 pm Indian time.
Sri Lanka has won the Asia Cup title 5 times
Afghanistan still waiting for first title
Dubai. When the top teams of the subcontinent along with India and Pakistan take the field for the Asia Cup 2022 starting on Saturday, they will be aiming to win the title and start their preparations for the T20 World Cup to be held in Australia this year. will have to be further strengthened. Due to the upcoming T20 World Cup, after 6 years, this tournament will also be played in its shortest international format of the game, where any team has the ability to beat any team. Apart from the qualifier Hong Kong, the five-time champions India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who are participating in the tournament, can beat anyone on their day. Due to the economic and political crisis in host Sri Lanka, the tournament had to be organized in the UAE. The first match is to be played between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka (AFG vs SL) tomorrow.
The conditions in the UAE will be quite different from the World Cup to be held in Australia in October-November, but all teams will be looking to finalize their squad for the ICC competition over the next two weeks. The Indian team would like to continue the attacking game that has led the team to success in the last few matches under new captain Rohit Sharma in their pressure opening match against Pakistan on Sunday.
Will keep an eye on Virat Kohli
In this high-profile match, all eyes will be on Virat Kohli, who has been trying to get into the rhythm for a long time. Apart from Virat Kohli, who is returning after the rest, it will be the responsibility of captain Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul to get the team off to a good start in the top three batting order. However, the team will miss injured fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah. The performance of Pakistan is also improving continuously for the last 12 months. The team will try its best to become the champions once again after a long gap of 10 years.
Rashid Khan will be the key link
The bowling has been a bit weak due to the injury of the team’s top fast bowler Shaheen Afridi before the start of the tournament, but strong batsmen like Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan have the ability to win matches on their own. Under the captaincy of veteran player Mohammad Nabi, the Afghanistan team will try to beat the higher ranked teams. The team had given a tough competition to the big teams in the T20 World Cup last year, but could not win. Rashid Khan will be his trump card with the ball as always. The team will expect big innings from the batsmen.
Sri Lanka’s performance improves
The Sri Lankan team has made a lot of improvement under the supervision of new head coach Chris Silverwood. There is no dearth of talent in the team. Players will not have a better chance than this to become an overnight star from this tournament and bring smiles on people’s faces amidst the conflict situation in the country. Bangladesh’s team has struggled in the shortest format since the World Cup. The team, however, would be expected to perform better under the re-appointed captain Shakib Al Hasan.
Hong Kong won all the matches
Bangladesh have added Sridharan Sriram to the team as technical director ahead of the World Cup, who will focus on rectifying the shortcomings of the T20 format. The Hong Kong team is in the group of India and Pakistan. Both the big teams of the subcontinent have to be careful with Hong Kong. The team has qualified for the Asia Cup for the fourth time by defeating UAE in the Qualifier held in Oman. Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka are in the second group.
Afghanistan has lost to Sri Lanka
Talking about T20 cricket, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka will face each other only for the second time. There is going to be a T20 match between the two for 6 years. In the match played between the two in the T20 World Cup in 2016, Sri Lanka won by 6 wickets. Afghanistan had scored 153 runs for 7 wickets while playing first. In reply, Sri Lanka had achieved the target for 4 wickets. Tillakaratne Dilshan scored an unbeaten 83 off 56 balls.
Both teams are as follows
Sri Lanka: Dasun Shanaka (Captain), Danushka Gunathilaka, Pathum Nisanka, Kusal Mendis, Charit Aslanka, Bhanuka Rajapakse, Ashen Bandara, Dhananjaya de Silva, Vanindu Hasaranga, Mahesh Teekshana, Jeffrey Vandersay, Praveen Jayavikrama, Chamika Karunaratne, Ma, Dilshan Madhunushavani Pathana, Asheen Bandara, Dhananjaya de Silva, Fernando, Dinesh Chandimal.
Afghanistan: Mohammad Nabi (captain), Najibullah Zadran (vice-captain), Afsar Zazai (wk), Azmatullah Omerzai, Fareed Ahmed Malik, Fazal Haque Farooqui, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Hazratullah Zazai, Ibrahim Zadran, Karim Janat, Mujeeb ur Rehman, Naveen ul Haq, Noor Ahmed, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Rashid Khan, Samiullah Shinwari and Usman Ghani.
FIRST PUBLISHED : August 26, 2022, 16:43 IST