Asia Cup 2018 will officially get underway from September 15, 2018 as team wining today in final of Asia cup qualifier 2018 will join the 5 test playing nations Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan in a battle to gain the supremacy at Asian Level and become Asian champion.
In this article you will find all relevant details about Asia Cup 2018 like Asia Cup Schedule time table, Asia Cup 2018 team squad and analysis on the team’s strength and weaknesses which will help you understand that which team has better chances to win the title.
For the first time in Asia Cup teams have divided in two groups, Pakistan, India and Qualifier are placed in group A whereas group B consist of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Also for the first time there is no minnows as any of the 5 ODI playing nations can manage an upset. Below is our analysis on team’s strength and weaknesses.
Pakistan’s performance is on rise since they have that triumphant win in Champions Trophy 2017 when they beat arch rivals India in the final. Side filled with young and talented bunch of guys and anyone can emerge as a match winner but more importantly Pakistan’s recent success came through team work under leadership of Sarfaraz Ahmed
Pakistan is the only team in Asia Cup 2018 who is banking on his pace battery on docile UAE pitches and going into the tournament with 6 fast bowlers and 2 spinning all-rounders Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz. Only time will tell that the absence of front line spinner will hurt Pakistan’s cause of winning the title or not.
In batting department Pakistan is relying on experience of Shoaib Malik and Sarfaraz Ahmed, whereas at the top Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam will hold the fort. After Zimbabwe tour this will be a much sterner test for young Asif Ali who will be supporting lower middle order to get quick runs by his six hitting ability.
Pakistan squad for Asia Cup 2018: Fakhar Zaman, Imam ul Haq, Shan Masood, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Haris Sohail, Sarfraz Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Usman Khan Shanwari, Mohammad Amir, Junaid Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Fahim Ashraf
Surprisingly India’s think thank have opted to rest regular skipper and star performer Virat Kohli form this tournament in order to manage his work load. His absence will be an advantage for opposition teams. In his absence Rohit Sharma will lead the side who is thin on the captaincy experience at international level.
Batting burden will be shared by Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan at the top and followed up by Ambati Rayudu and Manish Pandey who both won a pace in this squad after successful IPL season and A team games.
India’s main strength will be their three front line spinners and as of late India’s first choice spinners were Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendara Chahal and both have performed exceptionally well in tough conditions.
India squad for Asia Cup 2018: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, K Khaleel Ahmed
Sri Lanka once rated as destructive cricket force of Asia is still trying to fill big gaps created in their ranks after retirement of legends like Kumar Sangakara and Mahela Jayawardene. Injury prone skipper Angelo Matthews will lead the side and also holding the batting fort for Sri Lanka. Kausal Prerea, Upul Tharanga and Kausla Mendis are other talented batsman who will be needed to provide support to their skipper during the tournament if Sri Lanka wants to create some alarm bells for oppositions.
All rounder Thisara Prerea after gaining the required fitness standards is improving every day. Sri Lanka also opted to field spin heavy attack and opposition can be threatened by presence of Akila Dhananjaya who has performed in every wining cause for Sri Lanka of late and also bloomed in some losing cause as well.
Sri Lanka squad for Asia Cup 2018: Angelo Mathews (Captain), Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Upul Tharanga, Dinesh Chandimal, Danushka Gunathilaka, Thisara Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Dhanajaya de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Dilruwan Perera, Amila Aponso, Kasun Rajitha, Suranga Lakmal, Dushmantha Chameera and Lasith Malinga.
Once a minnow now have transformed themselves in a power house of cricket. Since cricket world cup 2015 Bangladesh performance is on the rise and especially on dry pitches which is closed to their home conditions.
Led by pacer Mashrafe Mortaza. Tamim Iqbal who has turned himself from a basher to a mature batsman in recent past. One man to be look out for is Liton Das; an attacking batsman who always tries to be positive at the top and his attacking nature is perfect foil for Tamim’s maturity at the top. Shakib Al Hassan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah will play their roles in middle order so that Bangladesh can post big totals.
In bowling department skipper Mashrafe and Shakib will be supporting Mustafizur who has become Bangladesh’s main strike bowler since his introduction at international level.
Bangladesh squad for Asia Cup 2018: Mashrafe Mortaza (Capt), Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mohammad Mithun, Liton Kumar, Mushfiqur Rahim, Ariful Haque, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mosaddek Hossain, Nazmul Hossain, Mehedi Hasan, Nazmul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman and Abu Haider.
A new entrant in the cricketing fraternity Afghanistan have made big strides rapidly and its players are getting recognition around the world and this extensive experience playing its part in development of Afghanistan cricket team. Lead by Asghar Afghan who is one of the main pillars of their batting lineup. Mohammad Shahzad with his assaults at top order helps Afghanistan in quick starts.
In bowling spin trio of Mohammad Nabi, world’s top ranked bowler Rashid Khan and mystery spinner Mujeeb ur Rehman are the go to players in Afghanistan ODI side. Playing in IPL and BBL has helped in progressing of these bowlers and they are now must pick in many international leagues.
Afghanistan squad for Asia Cup 2018: Mohammad Shahzad, Javed Ahmadi, Asghar Afghan(c), Rahmat Shah, Samiullah Shenwari, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Aftab Alam, Ihsanullah Janat, Sayed Shirzad, Wafadar, Munir Ahmad Kakar.
Tournaments favorites are India, Pakistan and Bangladesh due to settled outfits in ODI cricket.