The 2023 Asia Cup will start on August 30 and end on September 17. For the first time in history, the tournament is going to be held in a hybrid format, hosted by Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The Asia Cup 2023 features India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and, for the first time, Nepal, who have qualified for the tournament. This year’s competition will be structured with two groups, each consisting of three teams. The top two teams from each group will progress to the Super Four round. But, among these six teams, who have the most potential to win the trophy? Read on to see our prediction.
Prediction for Super Four Round
Group A consists of Pakistan, India, and Nepal. Group B consists of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. Predicting the top two from Group A is easy. Nepal will not have any chance against giant teams like India and Pakistan. So, India and Pakistan will surely proceed to the Super Four. However, predicting the top two from Group B will be difficult as all three teams are almost equal in terms of performance and players. But according to recent performances, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have a greater chance to proceed to the Super Four.
In their most recent series, Sri Lanka faced Afghanistan in June 2023, and it was a 2-1 win for Sri Lanka. However, Sri Lanka lost the prior two series against New Zealand and India. On the other hand, Afghanistan won the most recent ODI series against Bangladesh by 2-1. Currently, Afghanistan is playing a three-match series against Pakistan in Sri Lanka. As of August 26, the Afghans lost two matches. So, this loss will surely reduce Afghans’ confidence, which they gained by winning against Bangladesh last month.
If we look at Bangladesh’s series against India, England, and Ireland, it is clear that the Tigers have shown tremendous effort as they won against India and Ireland.
So, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh might play in the Super Four.
Probable Winner of Asia Cup 2023 ODI Tournament
The 2023 Asia Cup is anticipated to be a highly competitive tournament, with India and Pakistan emerging as the leading contenders for victory.
Presently, India holds the third position in the Men’s ODI Team Ranking. With stars like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli spearheading the batting lineup, India boasts a tough selection of batting experts. Complementing this strength is their strong bowling unit, featuring the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami.
India holds the record for being the most successful team in Asia Cup history, clinching the title seven times. It was truly surprising to witness their absence from the final of the previous year’s tournament, considering the star-studded lineup they possessed. This year, the reentry of Jasprit Bumrah, coupled with the inclusion of KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer in the middle-order, has considerably enhanced India’s team composition, lending it a much more balanced and formidable aspect.
Pakistan, on the other hand, holds the second position in the ICC Men’s ODI Team Ranking. Pakistan, the reigning champion, possesses a well-balanced team that harmoniously combines batting and bowling strengths. At the forefront of their bowling arsenal is Shaheen Afridi, a prominent force on the field, while their exceptional batsman, Babar Azam, adds further strength to their lineup.
Up to this point, Pakistan’s ODI cricket for the year has primarily revolved around a series of eight matches against New Zealand. Notably, New Zealand’s lineup was notably weakened for the last five encounters. Although Pakistan has showcased their ability by securing victories in 19 out of the 28 matches played, their capacity to elevate their performance when facing tougher opponents remains under close scrutiny.
Sri Lanka is the defending champion, and this year, magic might not happen for the Lankans as they will have to play 50-over matches. On two separate occasions this year, spanning across two different continents, Sri Lanka’s ODI innings came to an end with a total of less than 80 runs.
Conversely, they managed to surpass the 300-run mark on four occasions. It’s worth noting, however, that one of those instances occurred after India had scored 373 for 7 on the same Guwahati pitch. So, Sri Lanka has a lower chance of reaching the final this year.
For Bangladesh, there is a fifty-fifty chance. Benefiting from the inclusion of two all-rounders, namely Shakib Al Hasan and Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Bangladesh’s lineup presents the flexibility of incorporating an additional specialist batsman or bowler as needed.
Lately, Bangladesh has leaned towards fielding the additional batter, a strategy that has yielded remarkable outcomes. Notably, Mehidy Hasan Miraz delivered match-winning performances from the number 8 position, scoring an unbeaten 38 and 100 in consecutive ODIs against India last December.
Nevertheless, this same approach led to a series of losses against England and Afghanistan, sparking doubt regarding the effectiveness of the extra batter strategy. But the good thing about Bangladesh is that Shakib Al Hasan is the new captain, who can play a big role through his captaincy.
Who can win the 2023 Asia Cup Trophy?
Considering the prevailing conditions, it’s reasonable to anticipate that India might emerge victorious in the 2023 Asia Cup, building upon their current form. Several factors contribute to this prediction. To begin with, India’s recent performance has been outstanding; they notably triumphed over Australia in a home series.
Read more: Asia Cup Cricket 2023: Analysis of Group A
Moreover, India boasts an impressive track record on subcontinental pitches. The team’s skilled spinners have the ability to reshape the course of the game, particularly when competing on Asian wickets.
A positive indicator is the resurgence of Indian batting star Virat Kohli, who regained his form during the previous year’s Asia Cup. Although India had been eliminated at that point, Kohli’s resurgence could potentially steer the team towards clinching the trophy this time. Given these factors, India’s prospects in the 2023 Asia Cup appear promising.
We might be looking at an India vs Pakistan final at the Asia Cup 2023 ODI tournament. However, cricket is an unpredictable game, and anything might happen. So, this winner prediction is based on the most recent performances of participating teams.
Read more: Asia Cup Cricket 2023: Analysis of Group B