We are just 10 days away from the Asia Cup 2023 and the excitement is already buzzing. Cricket being a team sport is championed more often by a collective team effort but there always are individuals who make a larger impact than other teammates. Let us have a look at the exciting players we will come across to see in this year’s Asia Cup.
Shubman Gill: Rising among the ranks of the India Batting lineup is a stylish opener Shubman Gill. Gill has been a notable young player from his U-19 days. He broke into the Indian side in 2019 and potentially looked like a successor to Shikhar Dhawan which proved to be right after he continuously showed that he belonged here. He has a stellar stats in the ODI format. He averages a whopping 62.5 with a great strike rate of 104. He has 4 centuries and 6 Half-centuries in just 27 games. He is the top run scorer in 2023 for India in ODIs and among the Test Playing Nations. Considering all India games will be played in Sri Lanka where the spinners will have a bigger role to play, Gill will be an important player to face spin as both
his average and strike rate against spinners in over 100. He is certainly a player you would want to miss out on.
Babar Azam: When there’s talk of Pakistan Cricket nowadays, it is incomplete without the name of Babar Azam. He doesn’t need much introduction, he has proved his mettle now and is destined for greatness. His batting is a definite pleaser of the eye and will definitely be most looked out in the Asia Cup.
Agha Salman: Apart from the usual suspects for Pakistan, too much of a surprise a middle-order batter who can roll his arm over for a full quota has shown much promise in the handful of games he has played. Agha Salman has been a valuable addition to the Pakistan team of late. His ability to stay calm at the crease take calculated risks and finish games while batting with the take has been phenomenal. He averages 48 with a strike rate of 108. He hasn’t bowled much in ODI cricket but his stats in List A show that he is wholly capable of bowling and providing wickets in the middle phase of the innings. And to consider matchups, he can be highly effective against the left-handers. It’s an all-rounder’s game and Agha Salman perfectly fits in that role.
Mujeeb and Rashid Khan: The Afghanistan Team has become a threat factor for other teams, especially in conditions that favor the spinners courtesy of the spin duo of Mujeeb ur Rahman and Rashid Khan. The
Afghani spinners have spun a web around the top teams in the world. With most of the Asia Cup being played in Sri Lanka, the effectiveness of the spinners will be much more than pacers and that makes Afghanistan a dangerous side. Mujeeb often opens the bowling for Afghanistan, his subtle variations with minimal changes in his action have caused troubles for the opening batters, He has 40% of his ODI wickets of the openers. He can prove to be deadly in the playing conditions. Rashid Khan on the other hand with his wizardry has given nightmares to top batters around the world. He can single-handedly change the game on his head with his quick wicket-taking ability. He presents himself as a leader in the field and his fearless batting approach adds valuable runs to the team’s total. He and other Afghanistan
spinners will be the key for Afghanistan to make a strong case.
Shakib al Hasan: The Bangladesh team’s superstar and World star allrounder Shakib also returning as ODI captain who has been carrying Bangladesh in all 3 departments will again have eyes stuck on him. His batting form might not be up to his standards but he always turns up the ante in tournaments. His presence in the bowling department is that of a leader. He is a very smart bowler who knows how to set up a batsman and can win games with just his bowling. He is a gun fielder and makes his teammates; tales up on the field.
Litton Das: A batter in the top order with red-hot form makes things easier and that’s exactly what Litton Das has been to Bangladesh’s team of late. He is a player who when he gets going looks unstoppable. His ODI game may not be as his T20 game due to more temperament needed in One Dayers but he can bring his T20 form in the Asia Cup. He likes to score quick runs and takes the attack to the spinners which makes him a key player in the Bangladesh batting lineup.
Wanindu Hasaranga: The mystery of Hasaranga’s leg-spin is not an easy thing to go by. He is a wicket-taker and a partnership-breaker. He can be banked on by his captain whenever needed. He has tricks up
his sleeve that can make any batsman look like a fool. He has a hat-trick of fifers in 2023 where he took 5/79, 5/13, and 6/24. He is currently the highest wicket-taker in the Lanka Premier League 2023 and has also returned figures of 6/9 in a game. He is well and truly ready for the Asia Cup and so are fans to watch wizardry at work.
Sandeep Lamichhane: The hero of Nepal, Sandeep Lamichhane is one player to keep your eyes on. He has made a lot of Nepalese proud by representing his country in tournaments like IPL and The BBL. He is the highest wicket-taker in 2023 so far. If Nepal is to make an upset in the Asia Cup, it is Sandeep Lamichhane who needs to lead them to do that. His experience in bowling to top-tier cricketers in the Franchise tournaments will give him immense confidence in bowling to them.