Asia is having another cricket festival, The Asia Cup 2023 which will be played this time across two countries with contrasting conditions, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Let us delve into the intriguing aspects of the playing conditions that await the players, exploring the factors that could potentially turn the tide of the game and shape the destiny of the tournament.
There hasn’t been much cricket played in Pakistan in recent years but we do have the data for the games played after international cricket returned to the country in 2015. If we talk about ODIs only, there are 22 ODIs played here, with teams winning 12 times Batting First and 9 times Chasing with one game having No Result. The average first-inning total has been 227 which can be viewed as a below-per-score considering the trends across International Cricket but in recent series, we have seen this number rising. Multan & Lahore Cricket Stadium will be hosted 4 matches scheduled in Pakistan and if we look at the matches played at this ground, the score in the first innings has been 287 which is relatively high so we can expect some high-scoring games. The toss factor is another important factor and if we look 5 teams have won chasing compared to 3 while batting first.
If we look at the bowling type comparison, pacers have claimed 62% of the wickets which determines the shift towards pace over spin. We saw some swing early on as well, so expect some balance between both pace and spin.
Sri Lanka on the other hand is generally considered to be not so high scoring venue and spin plays a major role in Colombo & Kandy Cricket Stadiums. The average 1st innings total here is 218. From the last 20 matches played here, teams won 50% each batting first and chasing. So, the toss may not play a crucial role here. As the humidity will be less by the end of August. So, the due factor may not affect the result of the matches to much extent. If we compare wickets between Pace and Spin, the pacers have grabbed 54% which is again not very far from the 46% that fell prey to the spinners.
Overall, with the demands of the intensity of international cricket, the effect of the conditions is as minimal as it was ever. The batsmen have up their ante in facing both pacers and spinners equally well. Similarly, the bowlers are quickly adapting to the conditions with the help of the data available almost negating the opposing circumstances. With the fielding standards going sky high, we can expect some thrilling games of Cricket with even contests between the ball and the bat. Sit back and wait for the action to begin soon.