The Asia Cup 2018 will begin next week and it is anticipated to be a good tournament. The last Asia Cup was held in T20 format but this one will be a One-Day tournament. This is the 14th edition of the Asia Cup and UAE will host the tournament. Meanwhile, the host team UAE will not participate in the Asia Cup.
Six Asian teams are scheduled to play the Asia Cup and they are India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Hong Kong. As a matter of fact, Hong Kong qualified for the tournament after winning the Asia Cup Qualifier. The last Asia Cup was held in Bangladesh and India won the tournament after defeating the host team in the final.
India are definitely the favourites to win the Asia Cup and they are the defending champions. But teams like Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh cannot be ruled out. India are the most successful team of the tournament and won the Asia Cup six times. Similarly, Sri Lanka clinched the title five times, whereas Pakistan won the Asia Cup twice.
The UAE pitches are suitable for batting and the batsmen are expected to dominate the Asia Cup. Several teams have top-notch batsmen in the squad and there are numerous players who can be the leading run-scorers of the tournament.
Here we discuss 4 batsmen who are adept to be the leading run scorers of the Asia Cup:
#4 Tamim Iqbal
The Bangladeshi opener is certainly one of the best of the tournament and he is the pillar of the Bangladeshi batting line-up. The left-handed batsman has scored plenty of runs in the last three years and he is a stupendous ODI player now. Since the 2015 ODI World Cup, Tamim has scored 2180 ODI runs at an average of 62.
Additionally, Tamim is Bangladesh's leading run scorer in every format. He is a veteran in the ODI format and he has played 181 ODI matches for his country. The 29-year-old has scored 6,305 ODI runs, and he has a batting average of 35.84.
In fact, he also has 11 centuries and 43 half-centuries in the ODI format. Therefore, he is a front-runner to be the leading run scorer of the tournament. He missed the 2016 Asia Cup but he will be determined to make a mark this time.
#3 Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan is an extraordinary batsman in the limited overs cricket and he is a regular member of the Indian team. The left-handed batsman will have an enormous responsibility on his shoulders in the absence of India's star batsman Virat Kohli. Dhawan was also named India's vice-captain in the Asia Cup and he needs to do well if India wants to defend the throne successfully.
Dhawan has a knack for scoring a lot of runs in the big tournaments. He was India's leading run-scorer in the 2013 and 2017 Champions Trophy tournaments. Moreover, he was India's top run-scorer in the 2015 Cricket World Cup.
The 32-year old stylish left-hander has scored 4361 ODI runs in 102 matches at an average of 45.90. Thus, Dhawan is definitely competent to be the top run-scorer of the Asia Cup.
#2 Fakhar Zaman
Fakhar Zaman is one of the best batsmen in the limited overs cricket today and he will lead the Pakistani batting line-up in the Asia Cup. He is an attacking batsman who can play big shot in every part of the ground. The 28-year old opener has become a prime member of the Pakistan team in a short period of time.
Zaman has played only 18 ODI matches but he has an awe-inspiring average of 76. He recently scored 210 against Zimbabwe and became the first Pakistani batsman to score a double century in the ODI Cricket.
Additionally, Zaman already has 3 centuries and 6 half-centuries in his short ODI career. He scored his maiden ODI century against arch-rival India in the 2017 Champions Trophy and he will be hoping to repeat the same performance when the two teams will clash on 19th September.
#1 Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma is India's captain in the Asia Cup and he will be looking forward to leading Team India with his extraordinary batting. Rohit is an essential player for Team India in the limited overs cricket and he led India several times in the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli. He led India in the Nidahas Trophy and India won the tri-series tournament.
His batting record is remarkable in the ODI cricket. Rohit has scored three double centuries in the ODI format which is most by any batsman. He scored 264 runs against Sri Lanka which is the highest individual score in ODI cricket. Therefore, it will be interesting to see if he can score another double century in the Asia Cup.
The 'Hitman' has 6730 ODI runs in 181 matches at an average of 45. In addition, he has 18 centuries and 34 half-centuries in the ODI.
His batting form was noteworthy in England recently and he played some big knocks. Therefore, if India are determined to defend their title successfully, then Rohit needs to score plenty of runs in the Asia Cup.