The Asia Cup 2022 gets underway on Saturday, August 27 as Sri Lanka lock horns with Afghanistan at the Dubai International Stadium. All eyes will be on the India-Pakistan encounter on the 28th as both teams take the field without the availability of their star pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Shaheen Afridi who have been ruled out due to injuries.
Meanwhile, batting will be a key area of success for all the six participating teams irrespective of whether they set a target or chase down a total. All the team’s batting line-ups will be put to test in the upcoming continental tournament and the batters would need to come out with a competitive mindset in order to get the job done for their respective sides in order to be the best team in the sub-continent.
Without further ado, here’s rating the teams based on their batting for Asia Cup 2022.
6. Hong Kong 4/10
Hong Kong became the sixth and final team to earn a place in the continental tournament after winning the recently-concluded Asia Cup 2022 qualifiers. They overcame the challenges from strong teams like the UAE and Kuwait and will now be playing in their second consecutive Asia Cup.
Since they will now be in the group featuring India and Pakistan, Hong Kong must ensure that they showcase an extraordinary batting performance in order to upset the momentum of these two world-class bowling line-ups.
Skipper Nizakat Khan, Yasim Murtaza, and, Babar Hayat are some of Hong Kong’s high-profile batters and they would be expected to showcase consistent performances in all games. After their dismissal, there could be a huge chance of the Hong Kong batting line-up getting badly exposed.
5. Afghanistan 5/10
Afghanistan are one of the biggest underdogs in this year’s Asia Cup. They cannot be taken lightly as they have the potential to dismantle any opposition on their day. The Afghans were excellent in the last edition of the continental tournament that had taken place in the UAE as they defeated the likes of Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh nearly pulled off an upset over Pakistan and secured a hard-fought tie against the eventual champions India.
Najibullah Zadran, Afsar Zazai, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Hazratullah Zazai, etc. are some of the gifted batters who can go berserk once they are well-set. Meanwhile, the middle and lower order is brittle with captain Mohammad Nabi out of form for a long time and the likes of leggie Rashid Khan and wicketkeeper-batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz not being able to showcase consistent performances with the bat.
Therefore, should Afghanistan lose their top order early, there could be an additional burden on the rest of the batters who might or might not click according to the situation.
4. Bangladesh 5/10
Just like Afghanistan, even Bangladesh’s batting is brittle in the shortest format. While they might click on some days, they might also fall apart like a pack of cards on other days. Nonetheless, it is to be noted that Bangladesh are three-time Asia Cup finalists and had finished as the runners-up in the previous two editions in 2016 and 2018 respectively.
They have some good batters including the likes of Anamul Haque, Afif Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain, and skipper as well as veteran all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan who have the ability to make a tremendous impact on the 22 yards.
However, the likes of Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mahmudullah Riyad and more importantly, wicketkeeper-batter Mushfiqur Rahim will need to rediscover their mojo with the bat if Bangladesh are to pose any challenge in Asia Cup 2022.
3. Sri Lanka 6/10
Sri Lanka might have won the Asia Cup five times, but they would be heading into this year’s competition as one of the underdogs who seek redemption and rediscover their lost glory in world cricket. The Lankans have a solid batting line-up and have the ability to play attacking cricket in this form of the game.
The former champions have some explosive batters in the form of Danushka Gunathilaka, Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Charith Asalanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dinesh Chandimal, etc.
However, the batting is inconsistent and if the top order does not contribute, the middle order would be put under pressure early on and the opposition might take advantage of Sri Lanka’s not so secured middle and lower order.
2. Pakistan 7/10
Pakistan are one of the favourites to win this competition as it will be held on familiar grounds of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where the players have played most of their wickets. It is to be noted that the Men in Green would be heading into the continental tournament having played just a solitary T20I this year which happened to be against Australia at home in April.
Meanwhile, the onus would be completely on the top-order trio of skipper Babar Azam, wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan, and Fakhar Zaman to do the bulk of the scoring.
The middle-order is not that consistent and they could find themselves in deep trouble should the likes of Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, etc. fail to contribute. Thus, Pakistan does have a promising batting line-up playing in conditions familiar to them.
1. India (8/10)
India have a superior batting line-up as compared to the rest of the teams in this year’s Asia Cup. All eyes would be on the batting megastar Virat Kohli who has been out of touch on the 22 yards for a prolonged period of time. The top order also comprises skipper Rohit Sharma and vice-captain KL Rahul.
At the same time, the Men in Blue also have a strong middle order consisting of Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, and Ravindra Jadeja who have the potential of scoring precious runs in the middle and death overs.
However, the Indian batters must be aware of left-arm pacers and an early top-order collapse might not necessarily mean that the middle order could carry out the rescue act every time. Therefore, batters at all positions would be expected to contribute with the bat. Thus, the Indian team has the strongest batting line-up in Asia Cup 2022 on paper.