The Asia Cup 2022 is starting on Saturday in the United Arab Emirates, where the big cricketers of Asia, including Pakistan cricket team captain Babar Azam and India’s famous batsman Virat Kohli, will show their essence on the field.
News agency AFP has selected 5 big stars for 6 teams participating in Asia Cup and after this tournament, these teams will go to play T20 World Cup scheduled in Australia in October.
1- Red-hot Babar Azam – Pakistan
The Pakistan team will rely heavily on Babar Azam, who has shown his batting prowess, in the absence of fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi in the Asia Cup.
The 27-year-old batsman Babar Azam, the top batsman in the ICC rankings in T20 and ODIs, has been in great form with two half-centuries against the Netherlands in the pre-Asia Cup series.
Thanks to the performance of Babar Azam, Pakistan defeated the Netherlands 0-3 in this series.
The captain of the national cricket team played an unbeaten inning of 68 runs against traditional rivals India in the T20 World Cup 2021 held last year and gave the team its first victory over India in the history of the World Cup.
2- Virat Kohli – India
Star batsman Virat Kohli will complete his century in his international career with his team’s opening match of the Asia Cup against Pakistan on Sunday.
Virat Kohli was rested by India in the recent series against West Indies and Zimbabwe.
The 33-year-old star batsman has been struggling to score big for a long time and he last scored a century in November 2019 and has been unable to achieve a big score since then.
Virat Kohli has scored 27 centuries in 102 Test matches since his debut in 2011, but due to poor form, he was also removed from the leadership of the team.
Former Indian team coach Ravi Shastri said that if Kohli starts the tournament with a half-century, criticism will end in the tournament.
3- All-rounder Hasaranga – Srilanka
Sri Lankan all-rounder Venindu Hasaranga made a name for himself in the Indian Premier League this year by creating a spell in his league and emerged as a key bowler by taking 26 wickets in 16 matches.
Fellow spinners Mahesh Theakshana, Geoffrey Vanderse and Praveen Jay Wickrama will also lend their hand in UAE’s spin-friendly wickets.
Hasaranga, 25, was ruled out of the League One Hundred in England to rest him until the Asia Cup and T20 World Cup.
Hasaranga has been instrumental in scoring valuable runs in the lower order for the team.
4- Captain Shakib – Bangladesh
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan has been facing problems on and off the field in the past few years but he has been a consistent player in the team and has returned to the team as captain.
The star all-rounder who was asked to step aside from the Bangladesh captaincy by a gambling portal, however, the team has won just 2 of the last 15 matches.
The experienced 35-year-old all-rounder puts pressure on opposition teams with his left-handed batting and bowling and, like Kohli, will play his 100th career match with the team’s opening match in the Asia Cup. Bangladesh team will play their first match in Asia Cup against Afghanistan on Tuesday.
5- Spin magician Rashid Khan – Afghanistan
Afghanistan’s spin wizard Rashid Khan is among the main bowlers of his team in the Asia Cup, who has so far taken 112 wickets in 66 T20 International matches.
The 23-year-old leg-spinner participates in T20 leagues around the world, including the IPL, and The Hundred.
Along with dismissing the opposition batsmen, Rashid Khan also displays aggressive batting in the final numbers.
In the Afghanistan team, captain Mohammad Nabi and spin bowling wizardry Rashid Khan along with Mujeebur Rahman and Noor Ahmed are the main players.