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  5. If Babar and Rizwan give consistent performances then.' - India spinner warns Pakistan's opponents in Asia Cup

If Babar and Rizwan give consistent performances then.' - India spinner warns Pakistan's opponents in Asia Cup

Ravichandran Ashwin believes that Pakistan can be the team to beat in the upcoming Asia Cup slated to start from August 30.

Written By: India TV Sports Desk New Delhi Published on: August 30, 2023 13:53 IST
Ravichandran Ashwin
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES Ravichandran Ashwin

Pakistan have put together a formidable unit for this year's Asia Cup and are being rated as one of the favourites to not only win the continental tournament but are also tipped as one of the hot favourites to win the 50-overs World Cup starting October 5 in India. Led by Babar Azam Pakistan recently climbed to the top of the ICC ODI team rankings, surging past Australia.

 However, this is not an overnight success as the team has witnessed some really tough times in the last decade or so with several disappointing campaigns across ICC tournaments. The tide seems to have turned in their favour lately and that is largely because of the hard yards done by the players who form the core of the current set-up.

Analysing their journey in the past decade and how have they shaped into a formidable force in world cricket, star India off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin shared his thoughts on the Pakistan cricket team on his official YouTube channel.

"I used to envy looking at the Pakistan side. 5-6 years back, they used to struggle in big tournaments like Asia Cup and World Cup. Yes, of course, they have won big tournaments in the past. They have won the 1992 World Cup and delivered a consistent performance in the T20 World Cup. The main reason for the last 5-6 years' rise can be attributed to Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan," 

Ashwin credited the overwhelming exposure of Pakistan players to world-class T20 tournaments like the Pakistan Super League and the Big Bash League among others as a major reason behind their remarkable rise in world cricket.

"It all comes down to their squad depth. Pakistan have always produced extraordinary cricketers. because of tape ball cricket, they have always had fast bowlers coming through their ranks. Their batting has been special in the late 90s and 2000s. But their exposure to different leagues has been a major reason for their re-emergence in the last 5-6 years. They have PSL. In the recent BBL drafts they were at least 60-70 Pakistan players.

"That's why in the last 5-6 years, Pakistan are not only producing world-class cricketers but these talents are only delivering in the big stages," he added.

Ashwin also shared his thoughts on Pakistan's chances in the Asia Cup and analytically opened up on the fortunes of the Green Brigade.

"If Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan give consistent performances with the bat in the middle order then Pakistan are going to be one hell of a team going into this Asia Cup and World Cup. It will take some beating. Pakistan is an exceptional side.

"This year's Asia Cup's most games will be played in Sri Lanka. Who else are more equipped for Sri Lankan conditions than Pakistan? Because almost all the foreigners in the Lanka Premier League are Pakistanis," he concluded.


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