Renowned Indian cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin has underscored Pakistan’s formidable position and ‘preferred’ status, placing them on par with India for the upcoming Asia Cup 2023. Despite Sri Lanka’s triumphant victory in the previous T20 format, the spotlight remains firmly fixed on India and Pakistan as the frontrunners in this tournament.
During a discussion on his YouTube channel, Ashwin articulated that the fate of Pakistan’s success hinges upon the consistent performances of their skipper, Babar Azam, and their wicket-keeping batter, Mohammad Rizwan, in the imminent months. Their sustained form could potentially present significant challenges for adversaries both in the Asia Cup and the ODI World Cup.
“If Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan manage to sustain consistent batting performances in the middle-order, Pakistan is poised to emerge as an exceptionally formidable team in the Asia Cup and World Cup. Their resilience will be tough to contend with. Pakistan boasts an exceptional team,” Ashwin emphatically expressed.
Additionally, Ashwin delved into the reasons behind Pakistan’s favored status this year in the Asia Cup, alongside the Indian team.
“The crux of the matter lies in their squad’s depth. Pakistan has consistently produced remarkable cricketers. Their emphasis on tape ball cricket has yielded a steady stream of fast bowlers. Their batting prowess was particularly pronounced in the late 90s and 2000s. However, their participation in various leagues has played a pivotal role in their resurgence over the last 5-6 years. The Pakistan Super League (PSL) has been instrumental in this regard. Their representation in recent Big Bash League (BBL) drafts has been noteworthy, with at least 60-70 Pakistani players making their mark,” he further elaborated.
Marking the commencement of the Asia Cup 2023, the action kicks off with Pakistan locking horns against Nepal in a Group-A showdown at the Multan Cricket Stadium. Pakistan steps into the Asia Cup arena with a formidable momentum, having secured their position at the pinnacle of the ICC ODI team rankings following a commanding 3-0 victory over Afghanistan in Sri Lanka.
The sentiments echoed by Ashwin shed light on the evolving dynamics of cricket, as Pakistan’s resurgence is attributed to both their historical cricketing culture and their strategic involvement in international leagues. With the Asia Cup now in full swing, cricket enthusiasts eagerly anticipate a thrilling showcase of talent, strategy, and sportsmanship on display.