Extraordinary Pakistan team to beat in Asia Cup: Ashwin

Chennai: Premier India spinner R Ashwin feels Pakistan will be the side to beat in the Asia Cup and consistent performances from Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan will make them even more dangerous in the continental event.

Terming both Pakistan and India as favourites for the Asian title, Ashwin said on his YouTube channel, “If Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan consistently dish out performances with the bat, Pakistan will be one hell of a team heading into this Asia Cup and the World Cup.

“It will take some beating since Pakistan is an extraordinary team.”.

Pakistan face Nepal in the tournament opener on Wednesday before taking on India in the much awaited clash on September 2.

The Men in Blue have won the last three meetings against Pakistan in ODIs.

Ashwin feels the depth in Pakistan squad makes them serious contenders for Asia Cup and subsequent World Cup.

“It is all down to their (Pakistan’s) squad depth. Pakistan has invariably developed exceptional cricketers.

“Thanks to its tape-ball cricket, they have always produced an incredible series of pacers. Also, their batting has been superior during the late 90s and 2000s.

“But, the exposure they have got to various (T20) leagues has been the primary reason for their re-emergence in the previous five or six years. They also have the PSL (Pakistan Super League). Additionally, in the recent BBL (Big Bash League) drafts, there were at least 60-70 Pakistan players,” he noted.