Extraordinary Pakistan team to beat in Asia Cup: Ashwin

Chennai, Aug 30 (PTI) Premier India spinner R Ashwin feels Pakistan will be the side to beat in the Asia Cup and consistent performances from Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan will make them even more dangerous in the continental event.

Terming both Pakistan and India as favourites for the Asian title, Ashwin said on his YouTube channel, “If Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan consistently dish out performances with the bat, Pakistan will be one hell of a team heading into this Asia Cup and the World Cup.

“It will take some beating since Pakistan is an extraordinary team.” Pakistan faces Nepal in the tournament opener on Wednesday before taking on India in the much-awaited clash on September 2.

The Men in Blue have won the last three meetings against Pakistan in ODIs.

Ashwin feels the depth in Pakistan’s squad makes them serious contenders for the Asia Cup and subsequent World Cup.

“It is all down to their (Pakistan’s) squad depth. Pakistan has invariably developed exceptional cricketers.

“Thanks to their tape-ball cricket, they have always produced an incredible series of pacers. Also, their batting has been superior during the late 90s and 2000s.

In tape ball cricket, electrical tape is wrapped on the tennis ball to make it smooth since it helps bowlers generate greater pace due to its light weight and smoothness of the surface.

In some cases, the tape is applied only on one side of the ball in order to generate swing.

Ashwin also said the Pakistan Super League and other T20 leagues around the world have helped Pakistan cricketers.

“But, the exposure they have got to various (T20) leagues has been the primary reason for their re-emergence in the previous five or six years. They also have the PSL (Pakistan Super League). Additionally, in the recent BBL (Big Bash League) drafts, there were at least 60-70 Pakistan players,” the off-spinner noted.

Running out a batter for backing up “strategic advantage” ======================================== Ashwin said teams should consider a bowler running out a batter for backing up as a ‘strategic advantage’.

“Some of them will take the moral high ground in this matter by saying, ‘We don’t want to play cricket like that’. But street-smart teams should make use of these statements to their advantage. It is a strategic advantage,” he said.

“It’s been five years since I did it in the IPL. Even today, some are saying nobody should do that. I can perfectly understand why they don’t want us to do that. But, it makes me wonder why you are still sticking to the same ideology,” Ashwin added.

Ashwin said while no Indian batter has been run out for backing up, it should be accepted if it happens.

“I recently tweeted about it. So far, me and Deepti Sharma have done it for India. And that’s why people from their quadrant are accepting this. Have we seen England or Australia doing this against India yet?” he said.

“One of the journalists from India had tweeted on this, and his point is correct. If Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma gets run out this way at a crucial stage during a World Cup game, will we be okay with this?” “Only when it happens, we will know whether we accept it or not. But, we should accept this even if it happens to us because the mistake is with the batter, and who is the batter is not the question,” Ashwin said.

Source: PTI News


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