5 time champions Indian cricket team will begin the upcoming Asia Cup tournament as the top contenders for the title. Having failed to win the trophy on their previous two attempts (2012 and 2014) team India will be looking to grab this elusive trophy once again and establish their authority over Asia.
India comes into this tournament with loads of confidence precisely due to the fact that they have won two back to back T20 series and have registered 5 wins out of their last 6 T20 international matches. After overpowering Australian away from home the Indian team also went on to win their home series against Sri Lanka. The series win against Australia was a massive morale booster especially considering the fact that those conditions are challenging for teams from the sub-continent.
Renowned Indian journalist Vikrant Gupta also feels that it is fair to call India as the favorites to lift the title because the team looks settled as compared to other teams and the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan are firing in all cylinders at the top of the order for Indian. He added that the conditions are tailor-made for the off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin so things seems to be moving in the right direction for the men in blue.
“They have a settled line up. And Virat, Rohit and Shikhar are in top form. Ashwin on subcontinent pitches is a match winner,” said Gupta in an exclusive chat.
India will face Pakistan on the 27th of February in the all important clash of these arch rivals. Although Pakistan have been venerable during their previous few outings in the shorter formats which is evident from their poor run of form but Gupta believes that they might challenge India. He also quoted former Indian legend and World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev who has said in an interview that Pakistan will be very unpredictable during the tournament.
“Kapil Dev said in an interview today that Pakistan will be very unpredictable, they might challenge India,” Gupta said.
Pakistan has failed to field in a settled outfit and every now and then a change is made in the side which has meant that players are finding it hard to perform consistently and showcase their talent appropriately. The batting, especially, has been a constant worry and Vikrant felt that you need a settled batting order in order to succeed.
“Too much chopping and changing is he reason behind their vulnerability in shorter formats and you need to have a settled batting order which is currently not there,” Gupta said.
India begins their Asia Cup campaign against the resurgent Bangladesh team, who has a decent track record at home, so an interesting clash will take place between these two sides. Although Bangladesh have the ability to topple the contenders but considering India’s current form it will be a tough ask.