Former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson has selected his choice for the winner of the upcoming Asia Cup 2022 ahead of the India vs Pakistan match. Watson backed India as the winner of the tournament. The tournament was decided to be held in Sri Lanka but moved to UAE and will be played from August 27, 2022, onwards.
The six teams participating in the tournament are divided into two groups and the 1st group stage match will be played between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan at Dubai International Stadium.
In the second match, the seven-time champions India will defend against their arch-rivals Pakistan on 28th August. Team India has won the Asia Cup the previous two times, in the T20 format on 2016 and in the ODI format in 2018. Also, Rohit Sharma was the captain when India won the Cup in 2018. Now the team India is ready to defend the trophy once again.
India defeated Pakistan thrice in 2018. But the match in Dubai will be the first after Pakistan recorded their first ever win over India in the World Cup. In the 2021 World Cup, Pakistan defeated India by 10 wickets and team India is on the verge to bounce back in the match.
Shane Watson backed India in Asia Cup 2022
While talking to a popular sports presenter in The ICC Review, the former star player Shane Watson backed India to retain the Asia Cup crown in the UAE.
“My predicted winner is India. They’re so strong and depending on what the conditions are, they adapt easily to conditions,” Watson said.
Every time the two teams face off on the field, the focus is intense.
“That first game is going to be very special to watch because Pakistan have full belief now that they can beat this Indian team. I think, really, whoever wins that game is going to go on and win the Asia Cup. I’ve just got a feeling India [will win the tournament]. They’ve got so much firepower all the way through their batting order, so it’s going to be hard to be able to contain them,” Watson added.
Watson also claimed whoever wins the match will end up lifting the trophy at the end. Also, he agrees that the Indian team with its firepower in the batting order will surely be a threat to Pakistan.
Under the leadership of Rohit Sharma, India will aim to extend the winning to the 8th Asia Cup in UAE. Sri Lanka has won the title the second most times(5) and Pakistan has won the title on 2 occasions.
Shane Watson about Virat Kohli
Shane Watson feels Virat Kohli will be mentally and physically rejuvenated after a one-month break from cricket ahead of the Asia Cup. Kohli is going through the worst phase of his career as he has not scored a century in international cricket in between 1000 days.
“Having time off for him would surely help him rejuvenate mentally, physically, and just get away from the game of cricket”
“So when you can have a break, and because Indian cricketers in particular play so much cricket, for Virat to be willing to have some time off, especially a month, that is just going to regenerate everything he needs to take stock of what happened, freshen up mentally and physically”, Watson added.
The star batter is returning to cricket after missing out on the series against West Indies and Zimbabwe. He will surely attempt to generate some runs in Asia Cup since India’s tour of England failed to do so.
Watson is hopeful of Kohli’s talents as he believes Kohli will surely come back to his form. “He’s too good not to be able to find his groove. It’ll only take him a couple of balls, get into the battle again, and away he goes”.
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