The fight to prove supremacy in Asia cricket “Asia Cup” is going to start from Feb. 25th 2014 in Bangladesh. This time there will be a new team in form of Afghanistan apart from the defending champion Pakistan, World Champion India, Sri Lanka along with Bangladesh. Asia Cup was first organized way back in 1984 in Sharjah in United Arab Emirate. This ODI cricket tournament has been organized at the interval of two years regularly since its inception by Asia Cricket Council (ACC). Asia cup has been won by India 5 times, Sri Lanka 4 times while defending champion Pakistan has won it twice.
Pakistan Asia Cup 2012 Winners (Photo @Dawn.com)
In Earlier editions this tournament saw the participation of teams like Hong Kong and UAE along with India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Pakistan is current champion and they defeated Bangladesh in 2012 to win the Asia Cup for the 2nd time. This Asia Cup will be the 12th edition since its inception in 1984.
This edition of Asia Cup cricket tournament is going to be organized from Feb. 25th 2014 to March 8th 2014 in Bangladesh. Pakistan and India are favorites to win this title among other contenders Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. Bangladesh is hosting this event second time in row and last time ended up as finalists. In all these five cricket teams India and Pakistan are strongest contenders to win this tournament.
Defending champion Pakistan is favorite to win this edition of Asia Cup and defend their title under the captaincy of Misbah Ul Haq. Pakistan have very well balanced team in the presence of batsman like Md. Hafeez, Misbah Ul Haq, Ahmad Sehzad and Saqib Maqsood. They have very good pace attack in Umar gul, Junaid Khan and Anwar Ali while spin department will be taken care by Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rahman. Shahid Afridi is an asset to Pakistan cricket team especially in ODI format as he is equally useful with bat and bowl.
India will be playing under captaincy of Virat Kohli as MS Dhoni is ruled out of the team due to injury. India have been struggling very badly in abroad but Bangladesh is pretty much home for team India. Presence of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan makes India as very powerful batting line up. India is struggling badly with their bowling still they have formidable attack in bhuwaneshwar Kumar, Md Shami, R Jadeja and R Ashwin. Inclusion of new players like Stuart Binny and Ishwar Pandey can be boon for team India.
Sri Lanka are very unpredictable side with good batting and bowling unit. Presence of T Dilshan, K Sangakkara, M Jayawardene provides strength in batting while Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis,Nuwan Kulasekara and Senanayke makes it good attack for slow pitches in Bangladesh. Pace attack is major concern for the Sri Lanka still they are a good team. Skipper Angello Mathews and Thisara Parerra makes Sri Lanka a very good all round team for ODI tournament.
The host nation is aware with the condition more than any other team in the competition. They have good young team building under the captaincy of Mushafiqur Rahim. Thjey have very good batsman in Nasir Hussain, Monimul Haq, Mahmadullah and Shakib Al Hassan. They were given chance in last edition still they defeated India and Sri Lanka on their way to the finals of Asia Cup 2012. So, Bangladesh is an underdog and hope for some surprise from them in the competition.
Afghanistan is participating for the first time in Asia Cup 2014. So, nothing can be said about them still the way Afghanistan has groomed they will be a team to watch in the tournament. They will definitely add altogether a new flavor in this prestigious cricket tournament under the captaincy of Md. Nabi.
It is very tough to predict a favorite to win this edition of Asia Cup, still I am putting my money on India. Virat Kohli is captaining India for the first time for full series so expect some great results from him as a captain.
So, my bet is on team India, what about yours ? Which team you are supporting to win this Asia Cup Cricket Tournament 2014 ?