Asia Cup 2018: India Favourites to Win the Trophy – Venkatesh Prasad
Former India cricketer Venkatesh Prasad has tipped India to lift the upcoming Asia Cup 2018 at the United Arab Emirates (UAE) starting from September 15.
Meanwhile, India will start their campaign on September 18 against Hong Kong. Furthermore, they will square off against arch-rivals Pakistan on September 19. This will be the first time since the Champions Trophy last year that both the teams will face each other.
Venkatesh Prasad, while writing his column in TOI, has rated India as the tournament favourites. However, he also feels that Rohit Sharma-led side will face a tough challenge against Pakistan.
“The Asia Cup begins on Saturday and the Rohit Sharma-led Indian team, the defending champions will start favourites having won six of the 13 editions,” he wrote. “Pakistan, two-time champions, who beat India to the ICC Champions Trophy crown last year, will look to cash in on the ‘home advantage’. In the last few years, they’ve played most of their international cricket in the UAE,” Venkatesh Prasad added.
Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, the other two giants, meanwhile, will play the series opener. Sri Lanka have traditionally bossed Bangladesh in ODIs, but with the stakes high it is anyone’s game to lose.
However, Venkatesh Prasad feels fitness will be crucial for both the sides in the tournament.
“The two other Asian teams — Sri Lanka and Bangladesh — have had to grapple with injuries in the lead-up to the event. Sri Lanka have just lost a One-day series to South Africa at home, while Bangladesh enters the fray on the back of a series win against West Indies. Player and fitness management will be key factors for both teams,” Prasad signed off.
Meanwhile, the final of the Asia Cup 2018 will be on September 28 at the Dubai International Stadium.
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