Indian cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin has emphasized that Pakistan, led by captain Babar Azam and wicket-keeper batter Mohammad Rizwan, could be formidable contenders in the Asia Cup 2023. Despite Sri Lanka holding the title in the T20 format, the spotlight is on India and Pakistan as the frontrunners.
In a discussion on his YouTube channel, Ashwin pointed out that Pakistan’s success hinges on the consistent performances of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan in the middle order. Their form could present significant challenges for opponents during the Asia Cup and the ODI World Cup.
“If Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan maintain consistent performances with the bat, then Pakistan will be a strong force in both the Asia Cup and the World Cup. They will be a tough team to beat. Pakistan is an exceptional side,” Ashwin remarked.
Ashwin also delved into why Pakistan is considered a favorite this year for the Asia Cup, alongside the Indian team.
“Their strength lies in the depth of their squad. Pakistan has consistently produced exceptional cricketers. Thanks to tape ball cricket, they have consistently nurtured fast bowlers. Their batting was remarkable in the late 90s and 2000s. Their participation in various leagues has been a major factor in their resurgence over the last 5-6 years. With the PSL and recent BBL drafts featuring a significant number of Pakistani players,” he added.
The Asia Cup 2023 commenced today with Pakistan facing Nepal in a Group-A clash at the Multan Cricket Stadium. Pakistan enters the tournament with momentum, having secured the top spot in the ICC ODI team rankings after a 3-0 whitewash victory over Afghanistan in Sri Lanka.