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Asia Cup 2023 – Top 5 Players to Watch For

Asia Cup 2023 – Top 5 Players to Watch For

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The Asia Cup 2023 kicks off on 30th of August with Pakistan taking on debutants Nepal in Multan. This will be the 16th edition of the tournament with India being victorious in 7 tournaments. This year’s tournament will be held in both Sri Lanka and Pakistan due to India’s request to not play in Pakistan.

The tournament will serve as a final warm for all teams except for Nepal before the ODI World Cup that is scheduled to take place in India beginning 5th October. With so much talent on display, we picked out 5 players that will stand out in this tournament.

1. Rashid Khan

A modern-day game legend, Rashid Khan is arguably Afghanistan’s first cricket superstar. The right-handed spin bowler is the captain of their T20 team and is a key member of both their ODI and Test teams.

He has participated in many domestic based cricket leagues like the Indian Premier League, Big Bash League, Pakistan Super League and the Caribbean Premier League to name a few. His bowling style strikes fear into batters and he is also known for his hard-hitting ability with the bat.

He is currently ranked 4th in the ICC ODI bowlers’ rankings and ODI all-rounders rankings. The hopes of Afghanistan rest on his shoulders alongside Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman.

2. Babar Azam

The captain of the Pakistani cricket team, Babar Azam made his ODI debut for Pakistan on 31st May 2015 versus Zimbabwe where he scored 54 runs off 60 balls. Under his leadership, Pakistan has re-emerged as a force to be reckoned with in the world of cricket and this was proven when they made the final of the T20 Men’s World Cup in 2022.

As a batsman, he sits top of the ICC ODI batsmen’s ranking and has scored 18 centuries in the 100 ODIs that he has played so far. He has a batting average of 59.17 and has scored over 5,000 runs in ODIs. Pakistan are favourites to win the Asia Cup and their hopes depend on their captain hitting form with the bat.


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3. Virat Kohli

Nicknamed ‘King Kohli’, Virat is widely recognized as one of the best batsmen in the game. Aged 34, this may be his last Asia Cup and ODI World Cup and he will surely want to go out with a bang. Kohli made his ODI debut in 2008 versus Sri Lanka and has never looked back since.

He has amassed 12,898 runs in the 275 ODI matches that he has played giving him an average batting 57.32. His career best ODI score is 183 runs versus Pakistan in the 2012 Asia Cup, and he will certainly look to repeating that when India take on Pakistan on September 2nd.

4. Wanindu Hasaranga

The 26-year-old right arm leg spinner is considered on of the best bowlers in international cricket and is the youngest bowler to get a hat-trick on his ODI debut versus Zimbabwe in 2017. He is also the only leg spinner to get a hat-trick on their debut.

Hasaranga will be key if Sri Lanka are to defend the Asia Cup that they won in the T20 format in 2022. He was instrumental in securing Sri Lanka’s spot in the ODI World Cup as he took 18 wickets from 4 matches and even secured a 6 wicket haul during the first qualifier match versus UAE.

5. Shakib Al Hasan

Currently ranked number 1 in both ODI and T20 ICC Rankings for All-Rounder, Shakib will be one to look out for during this Asia Cup. The 36-year-old Bangladeshi captain will lean on his wealth of experience to guide the team for both the Asia Cup and ODI World Cup.

Shakib has scored 7,147 runs in the 233 ODIs that he has played in and has 302 wickets to his name. He finished as the third-highest run scorer in the 2019 ODI World Cup and Bangladesh will be hoping he finds that same form for the Asia Cup and the upcoming World Cup.


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