Indian cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin has highlighted Pakistan as strong contenders and ‘favourites’ alongside India for the Asia Cup 2023. Despite Sri Lanka being the champions last time in T20 format, the focus is on India and Pakistan as the frontrunners.
While talking on his YouTube channel, Ashwin stated that Pakistan’s success hinges on the consistent performances of Pakistan skipper Babar Azam and wicket-keeper batter Mohammad Rizwan in the upcoming months. Their form could potentially pose significant challenges for opponents in the Asia Cup and the ODI World Cup.
“If Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan gives consistent performances with the bat in the middle-order, then Pakistan are going to be one hell of a team going into this Asia Cup and World Cup. It will take some beating. Pakistan is an exceptional side,” Ashwin said.
Ashwin also explained why Pakistan are favourites this year for Asia Cup, alongside the Indian team.
“It all comes down to their squad depth. Pakistan have always produced extraordinary cricketers. because of tape ball cricket, they have always had fast bowlers coming through their ranks. Their batting has been special in the late 90s and 2000s. But their exposure to different leagues has been a major reason for their re-emergence in the last 5-6 years. They have PSL. In the recent BBL drafts they were at least 60-70 Pakistan players,” he further added.
The Asia Cup 2023 starts today with Pakistan taking on Nepal in the Group-A clash at the Multan Cricket Stadium. Pakistan enter the Asia Cup with momentum as they topped the ICC ODI team rankings after securing a 3-0 whitewash over Afghanistan in Sri Lanka.