Euro 2020 Special
 

Asia Cup 2022: Observations That Have Caught Our Eyes So Far

The 2022 Asia Cup is up and running with plenty of enthralling action underway. We saw our Men in Blue excel with flying colours against the likes of arch-rivals Pakistan and underdogs Hong Kong. However, that is not all we have learned so far from this tournament.

We take a look at surprising elements and talking points as we walk into the Asia Cup Super Four. Let’s get started!

 

Afghanistan becoming a threat to India’s hopes

In recent times, Afghanistan have emerged as a strong side in cricket. The once underdogs are not to be taken lightly anymore. Afghanistan steamrolled through former Asian champions, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in Group B, winning both fixtures emphatically.

Afghanistan’s bowling has always been a great threat. We have seen their star player Rashid Khan torment his opposition with his unreadable spin countless times. However, there is a new spinner in town who needs to be reckoned with. Mujeeb Ur Rahman, the 21-year-old spinner, has scalped five wickets so far in the tournament and has been near unplayable. Rashid Khan and pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi have been equally crucial in Afghanistan’s bowling attack, with three wickets each.

Their bowling attack seems to mitigate the damage so efficiently that in the second innings, their batters don’t have to do much work, chasing smaller targets. Safe to say, India will have to tread carefully with a bowling lineup that sharp.

 

Pakistan need to fare better

Pakistan were on the back of a rivalry humiliation, handed out by the Men in Blue. Perhaps it was likely that the Men in Green would bounce back against the underdogs of the tournament, Hong Kong. They now find themselves in the Super Four.

Having lost against India in the opening match would surely have dented the morale of Pakistan, especially when they have the best batter in T20 cricket in their squad. Pakistan will face India again in their first Super Four match. It will be exciting to see how the Men in Green will prepare to even the score between their arch-rivals.

 

Virat Kohli back in form?

Perhaps the biggest talking point is Virat Kohli’s form in the Asia Cup. Kohli, who has been struggling all year with his inconsistent form, was granted a month-long leave from cricket. Perhaps this has worked like a charm for the former Indian skipper as he is on the verge of returning to his top form.

Kohli began his Asia Cup campaign against Pakistan by scoring 35, which was seen as an improvement by the fans and pundits. His following match against Hong Kong saw the batting maestro smash a 59*, which was lauded by the cricket fraternity. It has been a long while since Kohli has had a string of impressive performances. Of course, this is nowhere near Kohli’s peak performance. However, it is major progress in Kohli’s recent form. The man destined to break records cannot be written off yet, that’s for sure.

 

Sri Lanka struggling to cope

Sri Lanka were seen as the favourites in Group B before the start of the 2022 Asia Cup. However, it was anything but, after Afghanistan humiliated them in their first match. The Lions had a tough battle with Bangladesh in the Super Four decider as they managed to win by two wickets, with just four balls to spare.

After India, Sri Lanka are the most successful side in Asia Cup history. Understandably, the players are distracted by the ongoing crisis in their homeland. Perhaps success in this tournament will help bring some much-needed confidence in the players as well as the citizens of the island nation.

Also Read: Why Shubman Gill Looks Like a Man on a Mission to Cement a Team India Spot?

 

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