Former Pakistan cricketer Salman Butt came up with a cheeky response on being asked if India can win the upcoming Asia Cup 2022 tournament in the UAE. He said that India can definitely win the tournament and followed it up with a funny one-liner.
India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and a qualifier will take part in the Asia Cup, which will be played in the UAE from August 27 to September 11. The Men in Blue will kick off their campaign by taking on arch-rivals Pakistan in Dubai on August 28.
During his recent YouTube show, Butt was asked if India have the potential to lift the Asia Cup. The former Pakistan skipper came up with a rather funny response, saying:
“They definitely can. Do they lack vitamins?”
On a serious note, the former batter termed India as favorites to lift the trophy in the UAE. He opined:
“Any of the competing teams can win. Realistically, India have been playing really well. They have a big pool of players, and most of the guys have gained international experience. That’s why people are terming them favorites.”
On the chances of the other teams in the Asia Cup, he commented:
“There is Pakistan. Everybody knows that, on their day, they can beat anybody. T20 cricket is such a format where one good partnership can decide the fate of the game. It all depends on the day. Afghanistan are also a dark horse. Bangladesh, sometimes, plays very good cricket, but on other days they are very bad.”
The Asia Cup is being viewed by participating teams as a good preparation for the T20 World Cup, which will be played in Australia in October-November.
“Pakistan do not have a pool of players” - Salman Butt
The Pakistan cricket team is currently in the Netherlands for a three-match ODI series. Team India are also in Zimbabwe to play an equal number of ODI games. However, while the Men in Blue have sent a second-string team, Pakistan have picked a full-strength squad.
Asked if Pakistan could have rested their key players for the Netherlands series, Butt lamented:
"Pakistan do not have a pool of players. We have not created one. We are not trusting our own system, so we don’t play our second string team anywhere. We cannot rest Babar (Azam), (Muhammad) Rizwan, Shaheen (Afridi) and Fakhar (Zaman) together. We do not have that confidence.”
The India-Zimbabwe series will be played from August 18 to 22, while Pakistan will take on the Netherlands from August 16 to 21.