Asia Cup 2018: 3 batsmen who can do well in the tournament

India v Bangladesh: Quarter Final - 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup
Avik Das

The Asia Cup is going to start on 15th September and it is expected to be a spectacular tournament. This is the 14th edition of the tournament and it will be held in UAE. Six Asian teams will play the tournament, but the host country UAE will not participate in the Asia Cup.

The Asia Cup was held in Bangladesh last time and India won the title. Bangladesh hosted the tournament in 2016 and it was played in T20 format. But the tournament will be in ODI format this time and it will be a good preparation before the World Cup next year. The six Asian teams are participating this year and the teams are- India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong qualified for the tournament after winning the Asia Cup qualifier. Several teams have balanced squad this year, and it is difficult to pick a winner. The defending champions India should be a firm favourite to win the title. But their star batsman Virat Kohli's absence could hurt the performance of Men in Blue. Pakistan has a bright chance to lift the title because the Men in Green have a well-balanced team. Sri Lanka won the Asia Cup five times and they can not be ruled out. Bangladesh reached the Asia Cup final in 2016 and they are an improved team in the ODI format.

UAE pitches are batting friendly and the batsmen are likely to dominate the Asia Cup. There are several top-notch batsmen who can do well in the Asia Cup. Here we discuss 3 batsmen who can shine in the tournament:

#3 Kusal Perera

England v Sri Lanka - 3rd ODI Royal London One-Day Series 2016
Kusal Perera

Kusal Perera is an important member of the Srilankan team and he will play a key role if Sri Lanka wants to lift the Asia Cup. He is an attacking batsman who opens the innings for Sri Lanka. After the retirement of Sangakkara and Jayawardene, Perera has been a regular member of his national team.

The 28-year old batsman is often compared to legendary batsman Sanath Jayasuriya. Similar like Jayasuriya, Perera is a fearless attacking batsman and they have a striking similarity in the batting stance. His square cuts and pick-up hits have a resemblance with Jayasuriya.

Perera holds the record of scoring the second fastest half-century in the ODI history. He has played 78 ODI games for Sri Lanka and he has scored 2035 runs at an average of 28. Moreover, his ODI strike rate is 91 which is certainly impressive.  

#2 Fakhar Zaman

India v Pakistan - ICC Champions Trophy Final
Fakhar Zaman will lead the Pakistani batting

Fakhar Zaman is an essential member of the Pakistan team and he is expected to score plenty of runs in the Asia Cup. As a matter of fact, he became the poster boy of the Pakistani Cricket after a stellar performance in the Champions Trophy last year. He scored a memorable century in the Champions Trophy final against arch-rival India and helped Pakistan to win the tournament. He had an incredible Champions Trophy and he scored 252 runs in 4 matches.

The 28-year old has an awe-inspiring batting record in his short ODI career. He has played 18 ODI matches for Pakistan and he has scored 1065 runs at an average of 76. He has already scored 3 centuries and 6 half-centuries in his ODI career. Additionally, he became the first Pakistani player to score a double century in the ODI when he scored 210 runs against Zimbabwe.

#1 Rohit Sharma

Australia v India - Game 3
Rohit Sharma has a huge responsibility on his shoulder

Rohit Sharma is the stand-in captain of the Indian team in the Asia Cup. Regular skipper Virat Kohli has been rested for the tournament and Rohit is set to lead the defending champions. In fact, he is one of the best batsmen of the limited overs Cricket and he will play a gigantic role in the Asia Cup. Rohit needs to fire with the bat if India wants to defend the title successfully.

The 'Hitman' has an astonishing track record in the ODI Cricket. He is the only player in Cricket history to score three double hundreds in the ODI format and he also has the highest individual score. It will be interesting to see if he can manage to score his fourth ODI double hundred in the Asia Cup.  

Edited by Rohit Nath

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