Twenty20 international cricket will hit the peak in February and march this year when Asia Cup T20 and World Twenty20 take place one after the other. The qualifying for the Asia Cup will begin on Friday, 19th February with 4 teams fighting for 1 place available. Afghanistan, Oman, Hong Kong and UAE will playing in the qualifying.
The Asia Cup T20 proper will start on 24th February with the opening game between hosts Bangladesh and India. All 5 teams will play 1 game against each other and the top two will play the final on 06 March 2016. The question is on everybody lip is who will win the Asia Cup 2016 ? We take a in-depth look at the upcoming event.
Who Will Win The Asia Cup 2016:
India will be heavy favourites having white-washed Australia in Australia and defeated a second string Sri Lankan side at home going into the event. Its hard to predict T20 tournaments considering no teams has won T20 world cup more than once so its pretty much the team who gains momentum in the competition usually go on to win the T20 cups. Since 2016 will be the first Asia Cup with T20 format there is no history to talk about. Lets take a look at each team’s strength and weakness.
India (Potential winners)
Playing in familiar conditions, India will be heavy favourites to win the first ever T20 Asia Cup. They will start their campaign against Bangladesh on 24th february and will be playing a massive game against Pakistan on 27th February. India should atleast make it to the final and to do that they need to win atleast three of the four games they will be playing.
Strength: India top order batting is in such great form at the moment that they are widely regarded as the best in the world at the moment. Rohit Sharma and Shikar Dhawan are scoring runs every game and with Virat Kohli coming back into the side after missing three T20s against Sri Lanka. Once you go through the top three you will find Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh who can be match winners on their day while Dhoni is due some stalling performances in the twilight of his carer.
Weakness: Always been there weak link, but with Ashwin opening the bowling in spinner friendly tracks and couple of good fast bowlers in good form like Ashish Nehra, they have developed a good combination.
Pakistan (Potential Finalists):
Hard to predict anything associated with Pakistan cricket, they can be mercurial on a day and absolute abysmal on another. Most of Pakistani players will have good match practice after highly successful PSL first season.
Strength: T20 format always been Pakistan’s shinning point, if they struggle in Tests and ODI they do come up with the goods in shorter format more often than not. having said that even T20 form has been poor in last one year. But with Afridi playing his last couple of months in international cricket he might have something in store while Pakistan bowling will be the triumph card if Pakistan were to perform better.
Weakness: Pakistan are struggling to adapt to modern cricket with number of their batsman failing to accelerate scoring on consistent basis. They usually fall behind the scoring rate and than try to go haywire in depth overs which sometime works but with the lack of quality big hitters this will always be the risk.
Hard to see this Sri Lankan side doing anything better than winning couple of games in Asia Cup. They have a young side with not much experience.
Strength: With Lasith Malinga coming back in the side he will provide much needed experience and will be key to Sri Lankan chances. Plus most of their players are unknown who might surprise a few opponents.
Weakness: Lack of experience might cost them dear in the upcoming Asia Cup plus their top order batting is too fragile and dependant on Tilkratne Dilshan.
Playing at home Bangladesh finally need to win a major competitions and this is their biggest oppertunity. In the past they have come close to winning the Asia Cup but with shorter format and some of the players in good form they might spring out big results. If they can get a win against either India and Pakistan they will have a good chance of qualifying to the finals.