Zaheer Abbas, the former Pakistan captain and former President of the International Cricket Council, has declared, on Wednesday (September 12) the Men in Green as title favorites in the Asia Cup 2018.
He further went on to pick India as second title favorites, saying there are high chances of witnessing the final battle for the title between the arch-rivals in the six-nation One-day International tournament to be played in Dubai and Abu Dhabi from September 15-28.
However, Abbas warned Pakistan that the favorites tag shouldn’t make them complacent in the Asia Cup 2018, as the limited-overs cricket has a tendency to throw up surprises.
As per reports in The News, Zaheer stated, “The way Pakistan are playing these days I believe that they would be the favourites for the Asia Cup title. Then there would be India and I think that the main battle for supremacy is going to be fought between these two teams. Limited-overs cricket has a tendency to throw up surprises which is why I would advice our team to not take even the weakest of sides for granted in the tournament.”
He also advised Pakistan to make it a habit to post 300 plus totals in the event if they want to be on the top in the tournament, as he is expected batting wickets both in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, saying the wickets are going to be flat in the UAE.
Zaheer further added, “Pakistan should make it a habit to post 300 plus totals in 50-over format. That puts extra pressure on your opponents. Any total below 300 is going to be tough to defend in batting-friendly conditions.”
Meanwhile, he is eagerly awaiting Asia Cup’s most thrilling encounter between the old rivals India and Pakistan in Dubai on September 19, saying, “That is going to be the most important game of the tournament. Everybody likes to watch Pakistan-India games as they produce high-voltage action.”
Zaheer also believes that India’s decision to rest their match-winning captain Virat Kohli will weaken the defending champions’ chances in the Asia Cup, saying Team will certainly miss him here.
He signed off by saying, “Kohli is India’s biggest match-winner and his team is certainly going to miss him in the Asia Cup. That said, the Indians have some really good ODI players in their squad.”